Kasganj violence: Marginalised lot bears the brunt
The district administration issued prohibitory orders when communal clashes broke out in Kasganj on Republic Day. A 23-year-old youth was killed and several shops were burned. The prohibitory crackdown brought daily life to a standstill.Updated: Feb 01, 2018 15:45 IST
Three days after Kasganj’s nerves were soothed, and it returned to normalcy, daily wagers Hariom Yadav, 46 and Avdhesh Verma 45, reached Soron gate in search of a job on Monday morning. Though some shops were open and people came out of their houses after the administration relaxed prohibitory orders, there was no good news for the duo.
“We have been waiting here for the past three hours for a contractor to hire us for work but nobody has arrived yet,” Hariom said as he squatted on the stairs of a nearby temple. The area near Soron gate is the local labour mandi where daily wagers to arrive with hope to secure a job. “This area use to be full of labourers. We are the only two today, yet nobody has come to offer us work,” said Hariom.
The district administration issued prohibitory orders when communal clashes broke out in Kasganj on Republic Day. A 23-year-old youth was killed and several shops were burned. The prohibitory crackdown brought daily life to a standstill and people like Avdhesh and Hariom were affected the most.
“I earn R250-300 every day which is spent on meals. There was no work for the past three days and I was forced to buy food for my family on credit,” said Avdhesh. “I now have a debt of R600 . It will take me at least two weeks to pay it,” he added.
Some 100 metres away from Soron gate in Chamunda area , Arshad Ali, a trained mason, is talking to a contractor on phone. “Janab nahi aa paunga halat bahut ghambhir hai. (Sir, I cannnot come, the situation is very tense,” Arshad told his employer. “My contractor is a good person but I cannot go out and work. Who will save me if I get detained by police,” Arshad said explaining the reason behind his refusal to work.
His neighbour Mubarak Khan, 38, had another concern, “I work as a labourer at a general store in a Hindu dominated area of the district. I don’t think it is safe enough to venture out like this,” he said , pointing towards his shiny beard.
Mubarak’s employer Akash Gupta understands his concern. “I can assure him(Mubarak) safety inside my shop. What if someone attacks him out on the street?” he said.
Hariom and Avdhesh, however, have overcome this fear in search of a job.”Khatra to hai par pet ka mamla hai. Bachho ko bhuke kaise rakhen (It is dangerous. But how can I keep my children hungry),” said Hariom, staring at the road, waiting for a contractor.