- Aish Mohammad had house in northeast Delhi, was set ablaze by mob
- He has decided to stay back to save what little is left of his house
- Two Special Investigative Teams are probing last week’s Delhi violence
Having served in the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) for 22 years and retired as a head constable in 2002, it is difficult for 58-year-old Aish Mohammad to come to terms with his situation in a makeshift relief camp in northeast Delhi.
Mohammad is among hundreds of victims of last week’s violence in Delhi who have taken shelter at the relief camp in an Eidgah in Mustafabad.
He had a house in the nearby area of Bhagirathi Vihar which was set ablaze by a violent mob on February 25.
“200-300 rioters came and threw stones, fired bullets and then set fire to the house. I was inside with my 26-year-old son. We went to the terrace and jumped into the neighbour’s house. My niece was set to get married on the 29th March so all jewels were kept and they robbed it all,” he told NDTV.
Mohammad has sent his wife and his two sons to his hometown of Bulandshahar. While the first floor of his house was burnt and so were the two motorbikes that belonged to him and his son, he has decided to stay back to save what little is left of his house.
“In 1991, I even served in Kashmir and suffered injuries. Now after what has been done in the riots I feel I do not have a right to live in this country,” he said.
Bhagirathi Vihar was one of the localities that turned into a warzone last week after clashes erupted between groups supporting and protesting against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) last Monday.
For more than four days, goons armed with iron rods, stones and hockey sticks took to the street, thrashing, burning and looting. By the end of it, 46 people were dead, and more than 200 were injured. Two bodies were recovered from a ditch in Bhagirathi Vihar even on Sunday.
The violence had started small, as clashes between supporters and opponents of the contentious citizenship law. It flared as US President Donald Trump landed in India on a two-day visit, but rapidly spun out of control, necessitating an urgent, midnight intervention from the Delhi High Court, which sought immediate police action.
Two Special Investigative Teams (SITs) have been constituted under Crime Branch, Delhi Police to probe the violence.
Last week, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the families of those killed in the violence. The government has also announced an immediate relief of Rs 25,000 to those whose houses have been burnt down.