Salma, wife of Mustafabad resident Usman Saifi who was picked up Sunday night infront of the temple he has been guarding. | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
Salma, wife of Mustafabad resident Usman Saifi who was picked up Sunday night infront of the temple he has been guarding. | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
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New Delhi: Usman Saifi had been religiously guarding a Ram temple in Gali Number 18 of Mustafabad’s Nehru Vihar for over a week now. Ever since riots broke out in the Muslim-dominated area of Northeast Delhi, Saifi and his neighbours were conscious of not letting tensions simmer for too long.

“He knew that if anything happens to the temple, it will be the Muslims of the area who will be blamed.” his wife Salma told ThePrint.

Saifi, 45, was picked up by Delhi Police from outside the temple late Sunday and detained. His neighbours say the police accused him of rioting and took him to Dyalpur station at 12:45 am.

“So many people guard the temple, not just him. I don’t know why they only targeted him” Salma said.

At the temple, the shock of Saifi’s arrest still confounds the temple guard, and those who witnessed his arrest.

‘Put a pistol to his head, took him away’

Muslim men in the neighbourhood say they have been sitting outside the over two-decade-old Ram temple in Mustafabad ever since the riots began.

“We can’t afford any slander, or any sort of allegations thrown our way. So, we would sit outside the temple every night and guard it,” said a Mustafabad resident, who was guarding the temple Sunday night with Saifi.

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“The police suddenly came in their car, put a pistol on Saifi’s head and took him away. He didn’t even get a chance to defend himself,” the eyewitness added.

The temple in Mustafabad that Saifi had been guarding every night since the last two weeks. | Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
The temple in Mustafabad that Saifi had been guarding every night since the last two weeks. | Manisha Mondal | ThePrint

A temple guard also says he had seen Saifi every night since the riots.

“I don’t know anyone by their name. But I have seen him here sitting outside the temple. These men were not just guarding the temple, but also themselves — by ensuring they are not accused of anything,” the guard told ThePrint on condition of anonymity.


Also read: Majority of 44 killed in Delhi riots aged 34 or younger, 2 were minors, GTB data shows


 

‘Police saw my son rioting in video footage’

According to police sources, at least 150 people have been arrested until now in connection with the Delhi riots. However, there are no official figures on the detentions. “People are being detained in connection to rioting every day,” a source added.

At the Mustafabad relief camp, several families have approached the police and the legal help desk stationed there.

“Since last night, we have been getting several complaints of arbitrary arrests. We are trying to help these people locate the stations where their arrested or detained kin is kept,” said a Supreme Court advocate at the legal help desk.

At the help desk, a woman named Fatima tried seeking help, alleging that her husband and 17-year-old son were picked up by the police Monday afternoon, when the three of them were crossing the Shiv Vihar bridge.

“My husband and son put up a fruit stall at the Shiv Vihar puliya every day. They had put one up on 25th February as well. But the police caught hold of them saying they saw my son rioting in video footages,” said Fatima, adding that she kept telling the police they are innocent.

Fatima, whose husband and 17-year-old son were picked up by the police from Shiv Vihar Monday afternoon. | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
Fatima, whose husband and 17-year-old son were picked up by the police from Shiv Vihar Monday afternoon. | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint

“They came to arrest my son, but then turned towards my husband and said ‘tum iske baap ho?’ and took him away as well,” Fatima added.

Several other families claimed male members of their family were picked up late Sunday.

“The men here have been sitting outside their homes every night ever since the riots as a safety measure for our families,” said Mohammed Umair, a resident of Mustafabad, whose neighbour Mohammed Yameen was picked up by the police Sunday night.

“We were sitting together when Yameen went to buy some milk, but he never came back. It’s only later when we went to the Dyalpur station to inquire did we find out about his arrest.”

(With inputs from Ananya Bhardwaj)


Also read: Don’t question Sikhs helping Muslims. We know what hate is and does


 

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8 Comments Share Your Views

8 COMMENTS

  1. Muslims are responsible for all violence what’s so ever happened any where..
    After provoking and intiate coward attacks on peace ful hindu society and police itself which are safeguarding them ..
    When in self defense if other hit it back they use it again opportunity to play victim card malignanting others and prepare for next wave of coward attack..

    In the root of every problem they never find themselve and try to put blame on others.

    Every muslim is a problem in india now because either they are radical terrorist, voilent rioters or only sympathiser of radicals.. and only oppose others.

    We are in state of hidden war from so long Where these two group of muslim radical and radical supporter only aim to destroy others and make there supremacy

  2. First Delhi police let these riots happen at the first place and did not do anything and let goons tool control over the city. So many innocents lost Thier precious life and now misusing power to frame people.

  3. Let us stop abusing and blaming people of any caste unless we have a definite reason to say so.The unprecedented riots in the capital have already done lot harm.

  4. Why only Muslim dominated area have riot. Because Muslim are problem maker . No Muslim are touched in Hindu majority area.

  5. More than 300 muslim shops and businesses were looted and set on fire in a targeted campaign endorsed by the sitting hindu nationalist party BJP. These were not riots, but all the hallmarks of persecution like the Jews suffered. Have any arrests been made against those perpetrators. Not. I feel sorry for the lack of democracy in ‘secular’ india. But ‘communal riots’ does do the news circles better than ‘failing economy’ and ‘bank note’ debacle. Modi wants you to vote with emotion, not logic.

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