People try to salvage what they can from the destroyed property in Shiv Vihar | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
People try to salvage what they can from the destroyed property in Shiv Vihar | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
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New Delhi: Monu Kumar’s skull is still bloody from when a mob beat him up relentlessly using sticks and stones Monday night. The 25-year-old’s bike is charred, and his left eye looks like it has popped a vein.

Monu, a resident of Northeast Delhi’s Brahmpuri, had stepped out to buy medicines with his father, Vinod Kumar, anticipating a curfew due to the violence going on in this part of the capital city. But a mob stopped the duo midway and beat them up mercilessly. While Monu survived the brutal assault, his 51-year-old father did not.

“We don’t know where they came from. All I remember is trying to keep my father alive,” Monu told ThePrint.

He said he knocked on the doors of at least 10 families — all Hindus — but no one helped.

Monu Kumar with mother Madhu in Brahmpuri | Photo: Fatima Khan | ThePrint
Monu Kumar with mother Madhu in Brahmpuri | Photo: Fatima Khan | ThePrint

Jab apno ne hi madad nahi ki, toh doosro ko kya bolein? (When our own didn’t help, what do we say about others?),” said Vinod’s wife Madhu.

Vinod Kumar was one of many Hindus and Muslims who were killed in the Delhi riots, according to the official list. But while this family asserted that “lives lost from both communities are saddening”, other residents of Brahmpuri didn’t echo the sentiment.

“Hindu toh shanti-priya hain, yeh sab us taraf se hua hai (Hindus are peace-loving, all this has happened from that side),” said Virendra Vashisht, a resident of Brahmpuri.

Brahmpuri residents’ despair over losing loved ones and the anger towards “the other side” is very similar to what can be witnessed in the other Hindu-dominated areas of Northeast Delhi affected by the violence.

As 25-year-old Parvesh Jain put it: “I have no hope of things getting any better any time soon. Hindu-Muslim relationships will suffer greatly because of this.”


Also read: Two SITs set up to probe Delhi communal riots, DCP barred by poll body to head one


Damage worth crores, AAP MLA’s ‘apathy’

In Shiv Vihar, several shops and homes owned by Hindus were torched on 24 February. Residents alleged that the incineration continued until Thursday morning.

Anil Sharma owned three shops that were set afire — Anil Sweet Corner, Anil Pastry, and a workhouse for both of them. Sharad Kumar, who was employed at the workhouse, told ThePrint: “A mob from the nearby Aqsa Masjid surrounded us from the afternoon of 24 February, and then burned everything down in the next 4-5 hours with petrol bombs and acid bottles. They caused damage of more than a crore to the shops, as each shop had materials worth Rs 40-50 lakh each.”

Sharad continued: “A Muslim mob from adjoining Mustafabad area kept coming back to throw stones and petrol until this morning (Thursday), after which we recovered mutilated bodies of workers which were trapped in a nearby building and workshops.”

A massive parking lot for 60-80 cars was also set alight Monday. The burnt-out shells of the vehicles are still standing, surrounded by stones, petrol bombs, desi bombs and acid-filled bottles.

The burnt-out parking lot in Shiv Vihar | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
The burnt-out parking lot in Shiv Vihar | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint

Pawan Kumar, who manages the parking lot, blamed the “apathy” of Haji Yunus, the Aam Aadmi Party MLA from Mustafabad.

“We appealed to him to reach out to the authorities for sending a distress signal during vandalism of our properties, but he said everything is normal,” Pawan said.

“There was fire everywhere, and they even blocked the road by piling up burnt-out vehicles and stones. I had to run for my life, jumping onto the roofs of nearby houses, and when I came back, everything was destroyed.”


Also read: Why Delhi riots are different — what ThePrint’s 13 reporters, photojournalists saw on ground


Tale of two schools

Two schools that stood adjacent to each other in Shiv Vihar sum up the story of the riots — Rajdhani Public School and DRP School.

Residents alleged that Rajdhani Public School, owned by a person named Faisal, was used as a command post to “orchestrate attacks” in the area.

Manoj, watchman and caretaker at the school, said the mob threatened him with the life of his wife and children to open the gate. Reduced to tears, he said: “I will never come back to Delhi. I had to live without food for 60 hours and nobody came to my rescue. I will go back to my village in Uttarakhand and never come back here.”

ThePrint visited the roof of the five-storey building, which has a considerably clear view of the area. The roof was fitted with a crudely-built catapult, from which stones and petrol bombs were launched at nearby homes and shops.

The crude catapult atop Rajdhani Public School | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
The crude catapult atop Rajdhani Public School | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint

A number of stones and petrol bombs could be seen strewn around the catapult, along with dozens of empty bottles, matchboxes, stones and paper.

Rajdhani Public School only sustained some damage — to its furniture and window panes. But the adjacent DRP School, owned by Pankaj Sharma, was targeted by a mob, and sustained heavy damage.

DRP School in Shiv Vihar | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
DRP School in Shiv Vihar | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint

“Muslim mothers came to me Monday morning, asking to let their wards go home early, as they feared a riot. But I didn’t know my school would be burnt down,” Sharma said.


Also read: Delhi violence a riot or a clash? Only liberal intellectuals care, not the dead


Gunshot that ‘forever damaged’ relationships

Atul Kumar, 35, had gone on a morning walk at around 5 am Tuesday when suddenly, a bullet pierced his stomach near Brahmpuri’s Shiv Mandir.

“It took me a minute to even comprehend what had happened to me,” said Kumar, who was rushed to the Jag Pravesh Chandra Hospital in Shahdara by his neighbours. “The hospital refused to treat me, and instead referred me to GTB Hospital.”

Atul says he survived, but the gunshot has “forever damaged” relationships in the area.

“We thought we were completely safe in our area, but it turns out we are not. Since then, Brahmpuri has been rife with rumours about what could potentially happen next. It’s a very sensitive time.”


Also read: There’s fear, grief and dejection after Delhi riots but Shaheen Bagh resolves to protest on


 

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18 Comments Share Your Views

18 COMMENTS

  1. How much longer before we admit that Hindu Nazism is marching through India and must be destroyed. India’s survival depends on the destruction of Hinduism from this nation. Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhist, Christians, Lefties, Intellectuals.
    HINDUISM IS THE DIRTY DOG THAT MUST BE REMOVED FOR INDIA TO BE SAVED.

  2. I reply to the commentator Saj.

    I hear you. But I do not think Modi planned this. It was his big show with Trump in town and he wouldn’t have wanted that to be spoiled. Amit Shah should have still come down with an iron fist to stop the riots. But Ajit Doval, National Security Advisor, subsequently took charge and the riots were stopped. Both Hindus and Muslims died. There seems to have been advance planning to embarrass Modi when Trump was in town. And people were killed. Sad!

  3. Islamic terrorism will straight path of is is birthing in India. Clean all Muslims from India is only solution.
    One or the other day threat of death is sure where Muslims reside. BEWARE of Muslim Deadly Virus

  4. Muslims have carefully and thoroughly planned this riot. But, they are the holy cow of secular India. They were safe under UPA. they are equally safe under NDA which controls the police in Delhi. Hindus have to learn to defend themselves, and not depend on the gutless Government.

  5. R u blind or pretending to be blind Mr. Babloo? .. Didn’t u know it was the Hindu mobs who started the riot when the protests was going on peacefully

  6. Thank you for a balanced article and providing a perspective that is often ignored in the English language media, both in India and overseas. Amit Shah has to be fired. He is a liability to the Government.

  7. Well I told you two weeks ago in the print comment section.

    The jihadi undertones of caa protest were ignored.

    Now we have full display of peace loving community spreading piece of other community.

    On top of that we have print team highlighting sufferings of peace loving community all the while ignoring the mayhem, lynching unabated communal violence of the same peace loving community plundered on the majority community.

    Keep up the good work print. Your op ed pages are soaked in red in defending the indefensible for namesake secularism.

  8. The ‘great Calcutta killings ‘ was also planned and organised by Muslim league under the supervision of then Bengal Chief minister Hussain Suhrawardy. Godhra riots was also started by Muslims and then the Gujarat riots happened. But nobody mentions that some Muslims started the riots in the first place by killing Hindus inside the train. All in the name of secularism by the opposition parties.

    • Ur lies cannot be valued… Everyone knows the world knows who started the gujarat riots.. It was the bjp when modi was the cm n thousands n thousands of Muslims were killed there… The evil people n the supporters of evil will surely dwell in hell forever

      • Get lost we won’t hear you anymore. Don’t come to throw water for what Islamic terrorist have done here. Let Say Islamic Terror as evils. Clean muslims from India be a slogan.

  9. Appeasement policies will not help any more. it will polarise the people further and this will not help the cause of the Muslims in future.

    • What about kapil sharma & terrorist gang?? Why delhi police was inactive?? Why they are provoking mob?? Who are the actual mastermind behind all these??

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