As New Delhi Chief Minister (CM) Arvind Kejriwal suggests calling the army amid police’s failure to quell violent communal clashes that have so far claimed at least 20 lives and left hundreds of others injured, Gurdwaras are offering help to Muslim families fleeing violence in the Indian capital.
According to a report in India Times, members of the Sikh community are not only patrolling with their neighbours of the Indian Muslim community to ensure that no one from outside attacks the latter’s homes, but many Gurdwaras — places of assembly and worship for Sikhs — are also giving shelter to the Muslims of riot-infested Delhi.
Novelist Nilanjana Roy tweeted that she had come across news from one part of the city wherein a Gurdwara had opened its doors to anyone who needs shelter.
Many other people shared similar stories.
The riots — clashes between anti and pro Citizens Amendment Act (CAA) groups, which soon took a communal colour — that began earlier this week, are the worst Delhi has witnessed in recent years.
The controversial citizenship law has been deemed discriminatory toward Muslims, against which the Muslim minority community of India has been staging protests across the country since December last year.
With Hindu supremacist mobs running rampage in New Delhi earlier this week, things escalated quickly.
Violence broke out in three Muslim-majority areas in north-east Delhi on Sunday and has continued since. Protesters are split along religious lines, and each side blames the other for starting the clashes.
But the violence has been linked to a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, Kapil Mishra, who had threatened a group of protesters staging a sit-in against the CAA over the weekend, telling them that they would be forcibly evicted once United States (US) President Donald Trump left India.
It merits a mention that Trump had been in the country on a two-day maiden visit. When asked about the violence during a press briefing, Trump evaded the issue, saying the incident was “up to India” to handle.