‘Targeted Violence by Outsiders’: Residents of Clash-Hit Delhi

The Quint visited clash-hit areas & spoke to eyewitnesses. Residents alleged ‘targeted violence’ by ‘outsiders’.

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“We have been staying here for over 30 years. There is no feeling of hatred here. All of us are guarding the area to stop outsiders from coming in. Outsiders are polluting the place. No local is involved in any kind of violence.”
Rajkumar, Resident, Shiv Vihar

For two days, 23 and 24 February, northeast Delhi burned. Houses were set ablaze, shops were set on fire and looted and vehicles were vandalised. At least 42 lives have been lost in the violent clashes. The visuals and photos of violence will be ingrained in out memories forever.

The Quint’s reporters visited the several areas that became flashpoints of violence –Ashok Nagar, Chandbagh, Mustafabad, Shiv Vihar, Bhagirathi Vihar and Karawal Nagar, and spoke to the eyewitnesses. Residents in all these localities alleged that there was 'targeted violence' by 'outsiders'.

“I tried to convince them to not vandalise property. They should refrain from violence for the sake of humanity. There was a huge mob that came here. We could not recognise them. They were outsiders, not locals. I tried to convince them but in vain. They were shouting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. I told them that sloganeering is fine but don’t harm our neighbours.”
Jitender Kumar, Resident, Ashok Nagar

When Badi Masjid was being vandalised and set ablaze in Ashok Nagar, Jitender Kumar tried to plead with the outsiders to leave the mosque, unharmed, but in vain.

“Outsiders are responsible for the violence. They were wearing helmets. No Hindu or Muslim brother was involved in the violence.”
Soni, Resident, Shiv Vihar

Soni narrated how outsiders ransacked the area, not even sparing a school in the locality.

When communal violence gripped northeast Delhi, Muslims in the Mustafabad area decided to stand by their Hindu neighbours by ensuring their safety, from outsiders.

“Just 500 meters from here, they were pelting stones. We don’t know who these stone-pelters were or where they came from. We don’t recognise them. A mob doesn’t have a face or an identity. They came, pelted stones and fled.”
Resident, Mustafabad

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