Muslims of Shiv Vihar don’t want to return to their homes, have lost faith in police as well as their neighbours

A person taking his belongings from Shiv Vihar

Israr Ahmad,

45 people are dead during the violence which erupted in places like Zafrabad, Maujpur Brahmpuri, Kardampuri, Khajuri Khas and Shiv Vihar – Districts of north-east Delhi. About 5000 families have fled their homes. Violence-hit people are forced to stay in makeshift camps. Shiv Vihar is now completely ‘Muslim-Free’. When the Muslims staying here were attacked upon, they fled fearing for their lives. Their homes and places of worship were made the target of arson.

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Some people who have managed to escape from Shiv Vihar after saving their lives have taken shelter with Nauman Saifi in Indira Vihar area of ​​Mustafabad. Some are staying elsewhere. Some have fled to their relatives staying in far off places. These homeless people no longer want to return to their homes in Shiv Vihar. Even though the Delhi Police is claiming the situation to be normal and assuring to protect them, their trust in the Delhi Police has been completely lost. Their neighbours have also been unmasked in the turn of events. Therefore,  they cannot trust them either.

People sheltered at Mustafabad

Recollecting the memories of her house in Mustafabad, a woman says, “My child says that we will not go back among Hindus. We no longer want to live among them.” Hearing his mother speak, the child standing nearby tells, ” They came raising the slogan of ‘Jai Shree Ram’. They had put ’tilak’. They wanted to kill all of us. He had witnessed everything. Had seen a crowd of rioters in saffron. The rioters were hitting poles on the doors, abusing them. The victims were on their roofs to save their lives. These rioters were threatening to kill the Muslims. Seeing all this made even the grownups tremble with fear.

These people are so scared that they do not want to tell their names while talking to the media. Want to keep their identity a secret. One person shared, “We kept calling 100- police helpline. The police did not come. After a while, two policemen arrived with the help of some well-connected person. Then we somehow got out from there to safety.” After talking to several people, it was found that some women jumped from the roofs in the dark. Few others managed to flee somehow. There were only 20-22 of the thousands of Muslims who fled to save their lives from Shiv Vihar. The rest are elsewhere. In Mustafabad, different families gave shelter to them. Another woman says, “The rioters were saying, ‘We will give you freedom’,” will make it your graveyard. Take your freedom. ” Neither the neighbors came forward nor did the Delhi government help them. When asked what were the Hindu neighbours doing when the rioters attacked? They said, “At first they stood outside together.” The neighbors said, “We cannot save. You cannot escape. “One person said,” they (neighbors) got angry when we stood near our houses and shops to protect ourselves. They said, “Why stand with the poles? The shops are not going to be saved anyway. ”

It is being told that the attackers were outsiders. But these people raise the question that how do outsiders know which house belongs to whom? How could outsiders identify the shops of Muslims? The attackers may be outsiders but those who have identified houses and shops must have been local. Now Shiva Vihar is completely ‘Muslim-free’. One elderly person states, “We have 6500 voters here. This would mean around 15-16 thousand Muslims. All Muslims have voted for the Aam Aadmi Party. Muslims have been punished for doing so. The unfortunate thing is that the party that came to power with their vote did not lend support in such awful times. These people allege that their phone calls were neither received by the ministers and MLAs nor by the police. If a policeman picked up the phone by chance, he said bluntly, “You have done, therefore, face the music now” “aazadi lo ” Many people showed their phone records too. One person said that he is a member of the national executive of the Aam Aadmi Party. He has access to all the top leaders of the party. But everyone turned their backs during the crisis. No leader, who gave orders for the party’s work, answered the desperate calls.

There is a lot of crowd in the narrow streets of Mustafabad. We were shown another house where some women and children are taking shelter. Today, on Monday, they are in the same clothes that they wore on Tuesday night. We also talked to a woman and the child who had seen the attackers. Everyone’s story is the same. The woman said, “We ran away only to save our lives.” In such a situation, where was the sense of bringing clothes and rags. ” The scared child narrated, “They burned our houses. If we were there, we would also have been burnt. ”

Many, who fled from Shiv Vihar, have taken shelter in the houses of Mustafabad. Today, i.e on Monday evening, these people will go to the refugee camps in Idgah. Many Muslim organizations have set up camps there. Relief and rescue work is going on there itself. People are reaching with relief material. Tempo filled with relief materials are constantly coming. Someone is from Amroha. Someone has come from Bulandshahr. Someone came from Nizamuddin. Young boys and girls were also seen roaming here. They are not locals. Some are students of Jamia, some are from JNU. Some IITians are also here. There are Muslims and also non-Muslims. They have come here for the sake of humanity. Some doctors, as well as lawyers, have also. They are reaching out to help the needy as a human being.

Local people informed about the whereabouts of the riot-hit people. One woman hesitated while stating that many women, including her, were subjected to misbehaviour. When asked if she would like to go back? The answer was a counter-question. They said there is no assurance of safety and security. Who will give security? The same police who did not even answer the distress calls at 100? Even if the police officials change, how long can the replaced police force provide safety and security? There can be no security until and unless the neighbours assure about it.

Police at Shiv Vihar
These questions are hounding everyone. The wounds of violence will heal with the passage of time. Perhaps the broken houses and mosques will also be repaired. But how will broken trust be re-established? This is the biggest question. How will the credibility of the law and order officials be restored? There is no machine nor detergent to clean the stains on the police uniform. How will these scars be removed? The answer is neither with the police nor with the home ministry.