Aneesa and her family were in Mathura on Tuesday night when they got the phone call. Her father, Mohd Ajmeri, had been picked up by the police for storing weapons and participating in the Trilokpuri riots.
Ajmeri, is among the 68 people who have been arrested by the police for their alleged involvement in the riots. His family, however, claimed that he was innocent.
“He is an old man who suffers from a number of diseases, including diabetes. He can’t even walk properly. The police came in when most of us were in Mathura for a wedding. There were just two empty bottles at home and they have arrested him for that. The police came back the next day and searched the entire house but could not find anything. Yet they have accused him of rioting and possessing weapons,” said Aneesa, a resident of Block 27.
In Trilokpuri’s Block 20, residents echoed similar sentiments.
At Gaurav Talwar’s house, his reticent wife initially declined to comment but later reluctantly said: “We are the Talwars so it is obvious that there will be a talwar (sword) in our house. My husband has a restaurant business and that is why here were so many knives at our home.” Gaurav had been arrested on Tuesday.
Residents of the area have also alleged police brutality. “The police came and hit me with a baton without any provocations. I am a 76-year-old man. Why target me?” asked Shali Ram Dinseh, a retired government official.
The police, meanwhile, maintained that all the people arrested were involved in rioting and hoarding bricks and weapons.
“We have proof against those we have arrested. Swords, knives and a large number of bricks and bottles have been recovered from them. Some of the rioters were nabbed on the basis of photographs and video captured by local residents,” said a senior police officer.