New Delhi: Thirty-year-old Nazia has been searching for her husband, Mohammaed Shahid, since 25 February.
It was one of the deadliest days of the Delhi riots, when a mob of men entered Nazia and Shahid’s home late at night.
“They started breaking everything, abusing us,” Nazia said.
When they tried to attack the couple and their three children, Shahid knew he had to save his family.
“They caught hold of him. He told us to run out of the home and said he will follow us. He never did,” Nazia told ThePrint.
Nazia had been since living in a relief camp at Chaman Park, all the while hoping her husband would somehow show up.
On 9 March, after shifting to the Mustafabad-eidgah relief camp, she finally decided to approach the police help desk set up inside.
‘Number of missing persons expected to rise drastically’
The Delhi Waqf Board has set up legal as well as police help desks at the huge relief camp in Mustafabad.
“If they need any legal help, or wish to file complaints but don’t know which station to go to, they can just file the complaints here,” Mohammed Imran, Delhi Waqf Board nodal officer appointed at the relief camp, told ThePrint.
The police and legal help desks have received at least 13 missing persons complaints since it was set up on 4 March.
“With the rate at which we are getting these complaints, we only expect the number of missing persons to rise,” Aaqib Khan, Supreme Court advocate affiliated with the Waqf Board’s legal team, told ThePrint.
He added that the complainants are mostly about fathers or sons missing since the deadly riots hit Northeast Delhi on 24 and 25 February.
The legal and police help desks have received over 800 complaints over the last week, including those pertaining to women being robbed of their jewellery, vandalism of homes and shops, and torching of vehicles.
A member of the Delhi Waqf Board, who did not wish to be named, said the number of missing persons is expected to “drastically” rise.
“So far, only the locals around Mustafabad know about these help desks. The more people find out, the more these numbers will rise,” the member said.
Meanwhile, Nazia whose youngest child is three years old, said the police desk helped her register a missing persons complaint for her husband. “My house is destroyed. All I want now is for my husband to be safe and come back to us,” she said.
‘There are still unidentified bodies’
The police, meanwhile, said they are investigating the cases being registered with them.
“We are going case by case. The probe is ongoing,” a senior police officer said.
There is also a fear among the families of missing persons that they might be dead.
“There are still bodies that have not yet been identified. Our teams are at work,” the offider added.
(With inputs from Ananya Bhardwaj)
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