As the death toll (according to reports at the time of going to press) went up to 47 in the riot-hit areas of Muzaffarnagar, the number of people rendered homeless in the city in Uttar Pradesh (UP) also touched 40,000 (unofficial figure reported). Reaching out to all those who have been affected by this unfortunate incident, a grief-stricken Nawazuddin Siddiqui says, “I was born in that city. I have grown up among these people. To see them fight among themselves is very painful.” The actor belongs to a small town called Budhana that is located in the Muzaffarnagar district of UP.
Calling the communal incident uncalled for and catastrophic, he says, “I was numb for some time after I heard the news. I was afraid to call my friends. Thankfully, none of them and their acquaintances have been hurt or injured in the riot. This is like a nightmare.” Praying for the situation to stabilise, he adds, “I really hope they (both the communities) resolve their issues and return to living peacefully. I wish they reach out to each other with the same feeling of brotherhood that they have always shared — the brotherhood that I knew of while I was growing up.”