A year after Delhi riots: A tale of resurrection of a broken lifetext_fields
This February marks one year since the racist attack happened in the capital. This is the fourth part of Madhyamam investigation regarding the current status of the riot victims.
Salim, a victim of Delhi communal riots was terrified to go to Shiv Vihar to retrieve his brother's mortal remains. His brother was shot dead and burnt later. On February 25, he tried to contact the Delhi police numerous times to inform them of his brother's death, but nobody picked the calls.
He tried again from Mustafabad the next day but his effort was in vain. It was only after he sought the help of councillor Mahroof when the police finally arrived in the evening. The police had asked Salim to go with them, but he refused and told them that they would attack him too.
BJP's Gujjar leader Jagdish Pradhan kept calling and asked him to take back his brother's body and bury it. To which Salim angrily replied, "You did it right. You could do the rest too,". Later he got a call from his brother's neighbour that what was left of the burned body was one foot and at the moment, the stray dogs were biting out of it. The Police also called him at 7:30 in the evening to inform the same. He then went to work at GTB hospital to retrieve the body and buried what were the remains of his brother, which was just the skeleton.
Salim said that the remains of their company were robbed and sold. When he was asked why he changed his mind after his pledge not to return to Shiv Vihar, it was 'Vision 2026' volunteer Sakib who replied that it is because he saw the new buildings and business institutions that rose out of the ashes of riots.
Sakib took me to Gonda of North-East Delhi to show lock merchant Shahabudheen's 4 tier building which was rebuilt from ruins after Delhi riots. The place is a Hindu majority area. When I entered Shahabudheen's shop, it was crowded with customers. Shahabudheen said that, on February 24, he took his family and ran for life to seek refuge in his friend's house.
He showed me the pictures of his charred shop, which was robbed that night. He explained how the Vision 2026 rebuilt his business complex with the aid given by the government and the vision itself, which amounted to 30 lakhs. Now, he is back on track for survival. He also showed me the flats he built upstairs for his family.
Shahbudheen believes that there is nothing more to be terrified of than they have already endured.