Mob Saw My Cap, Beard & Pounced at Me: Man from Viral Delhi Photo

Zubair stated he doesn’t have the courage to get himself to see the photograph that went viral earlier this week.

3 min read

Video Producer: Hera Khan
Video Editor: Sandeep Suman

Surrounded by an angry mob holding sticks and bats and raining blows down on him was Mohammad Zubair. Clicked by Reuters photojournalist Danish Siddiqui, his photograph has become the defining image of the violence over amended Citizenship law that rocked the national capital for three days.

Speaking to The Quint, Zubair narrated how the mob attacked him on the street on Monday, 24 February.

“I was coming back from Eidgah in the afternoon along with food for my children. I go there every year, and come back with food while my family waits for me.”
Mohd Zubair

He continued, “I heard that there is unrest in Khajuri Khas, so I took the other route from Bhajanpura market to reach my home. I reached the subway where a huge crowd had gathered.”

He said that a guy with a tilak on his head stopped him along the way, and told him to take another route which would be safer.


Zubair believed the guy and took the other direction. When he reached, he saw stone-pelting from all sides, he said.

“The moment they saw me, they came towards me. One of the guys came to me and I asked him, “Bhai kya karrhe ho? Aise kyun karrhe ho?” (What are you doing? Why are you doing this?) The next moment, I was hit with a rod on my head and there was a lot of blood. It was so bad that I started losing my consciousness,” he said.

“The mob shouted ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and said, ‘Maaro M***** ko.’ Apart from the frenzied mob, there were thousands of people, but no one came to help me or stop them,” Zubair recalled.

Zubair was barely in his senses when he realised he was picked up and carried to an ambulance.

‘Beat Me Because I’m Muslim’

Zubair stated that the only reason that he was beaten up in this manner was because the mob knew he is a Muslim.

“They saw my cap, my beard and my attire (kurta-pyjama) and pounced on me like they found a target. They did not even wait for a second,” said Zubair.

Zubair stated that there was no protest happening against CAA at that point and he had planned to go straight to his home after offering prayers.


'Can't Get Myself to See the Viral Photo'

Zubair stated that he doesn't have the courage to get himself to see the photograph that went viral earlier this week.

He said, “My relatives saw the picture and they were shocked and shaken thinking that I am no longer alive.”

The photograph by Siddiqui was shared by many people on Twitter and other platforms.

“Every one, be it a Hindu or Muslim wants to earn and come back to his family safely. Nobody deserves this,” Zubair said.

'Monsters, Not Hindus'

He said that he would not even call the rioters 'Hindu' or a 'human being,' adding that he himself has cordial relations with his Hindu friends who aren't anything like the mob he faced.

“Hindus did not thrash me, monsters did,” said Zubair, adding that be it Hinduism or any other religion, none of them teach violence to your own brethren.

Zubair emphasised that Hindus and Muslims do not want to fight each other, but a dangerous environment is being created and encouraged.

According to residents, Chand Bagh has 70 percent Muslim population, while Bhajanpura has 80 percent Hindus.

As of Thursday, at least 34 people have been killed, and around 200 have been injured in the violence.

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