Delhi violence: Among the dead, a lone woman, 85 years old
On Thursday, when the violence in north-east Delhi finally showed signs of dying down, Gulshan came looking for her father at the mortuary of Guru Teg Bahadur hospital. The neighbours of her father, Mohd Anwar, 60, had informed her that his house in Shiv Vihar had been burnt while his father was inside.
“He had brought me up. My mother had died at birth. And, now he is gone. He was the one taking care of my family, paying for everything – the food, the fees. Now, what will I do?” she said.
Her husband, Mohd Naseerudin, 27, sustained acid burns to his face and eyes five years ago, leaving him unable to work. “I used to work in a bedsheet cleaning shop and in an accident, some acid fell on my face. Now, I cannot see anything. I cannot take care of my family and now that my father-in-law has died, what will I do?” he said.
Gulshan’s entire house burnt down, along with the 20 goats that were kept inside. “My father used to sell goats and they were tied inside the house. The livestock along with the house, with my father in it, is gone,” said Gulshan.
Of the dead that have been identified by HT so far, Akbari, 85, is the only woman. She too was burnt in her four-storey house near Khajuri Khas.
“I had gone out to get some milk on Tuesday. While returning from the dairy, I got a call from my son telling me that nearly 100 to 150 men had entered our house chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’. He told me that they had set fire to the clothes stored in the basement,” said Mohd Sayed, Akbari’s son.
While everyone else in the family got out, the elderly woman did not survive.
“My mother is gone. What is happening here?” he said.