Shafeeque K.P and Sreekanth Sivadasan

Yasmeen, Shiv Vihar

That was close to neck! Yasmeen remembers their escape during the riots in Shiv Vihar on 24th February. Yasmeen and her husband Sakir knew that fleeing is the only way to save themselves and their four children. The elder kid is in 11th standard as second one was to appear for board exam of 10th. The younger two kids studies in 8th and 5th standards respectively. 

They saw in their eyes a violent mob from Johri enclave side crosses the short bridge on drainage to Shiv vihar side. Their home was just 200 meters away from the bridge. Their ground floor was their small garments shop. Somehow they gathered children and closed both the home and shop. They just saved their lives as they could run from there. Mob set fire their home and shop after looting and vandaslising. 

Photo: Sreekanth Sivadasan
Photo: Sreekanth Sivadasan

Yasmeen returned to their home on 6th March, Friday. After twelve days which seemed to her as 12 long years, she couldn’t help by crying to see broken and burned walls of her home. She found her shop is completely looted. Furniture in the house are theft, tiles on the floor broken and scattered, fire stains on the walls which were beautiful and decorated once. Some gas cylinders which rioters used to explode that home are left as they cursed in the middle of the hall. She was pointing us the places where she put her furniture, pots, plates, and so many other things that she was unable to tell as she was broken by heart and desperate for words.

A neighbor told us that this was the most beautiful home they had in Shiv Vihar neighborhood. Yasmeen looked very weak. She may be in her most vulnerable condition of realising that she has lost everything that she dreamt and achieved so far. We walked out of that home which is now just a heap of ashes of many dreams.

Haseena, Shiv Vihar

When we entered in to Gallies, the scenes and views were same; homes are burned, walls are stained and humans are with emotionless faces! In one galli near to Madeena Masjid, we met Haseena. 
Haseena’s home is in between her Hindu neighbors. But only her home is set burned. One entire storey has been crashed down due to the heaviness of explosion. Haseena shows gas cylinders and scooter which rioters used to explode her shelter where she spent almost all of her life so far. 

Photo: Sreekanth Sivadasan

Her husband is a driver. But their taxi car also has been torched. Haseena and her husband escaped from rioters on 25th February to Mustafabad. She was crying when she said that books and study materials of their children who study in Delhi University were lost in fire during riots. 

When we left that galli, Haseena was sitting on a narrow varandha with eyes full of tears. 


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