Mehro hasn’t heard anything about her husband Qayyum for the last 48 hours and she is apprehending the worst. She has five sons and two daughters and the eldest is Shahbaz, 11. “Please help us find out about the fate of Qayyum. We have not seen him since the morning of September 8 when we were attacked with swords, knifes and our houses were burnt,” pleaded Mehro and Shahbaz when they met HT team on Tuesday morning.
After running away from her village Kutba, around 25 km from Muzaffarnagar, Mehro, 40, and her children have taken shelter in Islamabad locality of Shahpur town with around 1,000 others who also fled their houses from nearby villages. There have been many makeshift shelters in Shahpur where around 10,000 Muslims have taken shelter.
By afternoon it was clear that one of the two dead bodies recovered from the jungle near Kutba on Tuesday was of Qayyum, 45, who use to sell clothes on a bicycle in nearby villages.
Seeno, 70, was also attacked in Kutba. She has also taken shelter in Islamabad.
“Firing started at nine in the morning on September 8 and it continued for three hours,” says Sheeno still trembling.
Even kids were not spared says Iqbal from Kutba, pointing towards his four-year-old daughter Mehrana and one-and-a-half year old son Ayan who were hit on the head. When will they return to their villages? “For what, our houses burnt down. We have nothing to look back,” says Islamuddin, 80, from Kakra village who has also taken shelter in Islamabad.