New Delhi, Feb 28: Amid the mayhem witnessed in northeast Delhi, another tale of humanity and compassion getting the better of bigotry and hate was scripted, which was narrated by a Muslim resident of Shiv Vihar on Friday — how his Hindu neighbour saved his and his family”s life.
“Around 9 am on Tuesday, a mob of at least 500 persons arrived in our locality and burnt down my car. Since were were no more safe, I escaped along with my wife and children and took refuge in a Hindu brother”s house in the neighbourhood even as the mob burnt alive my older brother who lived nearby,” Saleem Kassar, 48, told IANS.
“The neighbour kept us in his house for the night. The next day, he and his wife helped me and my wife dress up as Hindus. While he applied a ”tilak” on my forehead, his wife put vermilion and coloured dot on my wife”s forehead. Then only did we step out and took refuge in Mustafabad area,” he said.
Kassar said his dead brother, 52, was the only bread earner of his family, including a married daughter and a visually impaired son-in-law, who lost his eyesight four years ago, and their two children.
The survivor said that the violence in northeast Delhi was worse than that witnessed in 1984 against the Sikhs after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
He said three others were also killed in Shiv Vihar. “One person was locked inside his car and the vehicle set afire in front of my eyes. I narrowly escaped death. I think the rioters come from the Uttar Pradesh border. A few were from Shiv Vihar itself, who are history sheeters. All had their faces covered with cloths or helmets,” Kassar said.
(Sfoorti Mishra can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)