Sub Inspector Medhalal, who sustained a bullet injury in the clashes in northwest Delhi's Jahangirpuri, on Sunday said police had initially pacified the situation but a group from C-Block started pelting stones and fired on the security personnel.
Recalling the turn of events, Medhalal (50), posted at the Jahangirpuri Police Station, said he was walking along with the 'Shobha Yatra' in the area on the ocassion of Hanuman Jayanti on Saturday.
He said when the procession reached C-Block, some of those standing near a mosque got into an argument with the participants of the procession over alleged sloganeering by the latter.
"The argument soon turned violent with stones pelted from each sides. We tried to control the situation. The two sparring groups were separated and guarded by the police to ensure peace," the injured officer told PTI.
While those part of the procession were sent away towards G-Block, those standing near the mosque were asked to stay put at C-Block. But those standing at C-Block started pelting stones and came out with lathis in their hands, he said.
"One of them also targeted police personnel and opened fire on our side. A bullet hit me, but I was conscious and told myself there was no need to worry and that I would be safe. Later, I was admitted to Babu Jagjivan Ram hospital," Medhalal added.
The police officer also said in his 29 years of police career, he had faced many challenges, but never sustained a bullet injury until now.
Asked how he broke the news to his family, the sub inspector said his family members initially thought he was joking, but realisation hit them when they saw the development on television.
"I called up my family from the hospital to inform them about my injuries, but they did not trust me initially. It was only when they watched the news channels, they realised the gravity of the situation. They immediately made a video call and inquired about my health," he said.
Medhalal is currently recuperating at home.
The Jahangirpuri clashes had left eight policemen and a local injured.
Delhi Police on violence:
Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana has said 23 people from both communities have been arrested so far in connection with the Jahangirpuri violence, and asserted that those involved will not be spared irrespective of class, creed or religion.
The city police chief also denied claims that attempts were made to hoist saffron flags at a local mosque in Jahangirpuri during the Hanuman Jayanti procession.
He told a press conference here that some people were trying to spread rumours on social media to keep the situation tense, and appealed to people to ignore them.
The investigation into the Saturday clashes has been handed over to the Crime Branch and 14 teams have been formed to take it forward, he said, adding four forensics teams also visited the spot to gather evidence.
The probe will cover all angles through analysis of CCTV footage and digital inputs, he said. (With PTI inputs)