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‘Scared of Shiv Vihar’: Kin of Missing Youth Unable to File FIR

21-year-old Aaftab went missing from Shiv Vihar on 25 February, as mobs overtook the streets of northeast Delhi.

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For Firoz and his two brothers from Uttar Pradesh’s Bijnor, the wait outside northeast Delhi’s Guru Tegh Bahadur (GTB) Hospital’s mortuary has been endless. It’s been over four days since their 21-year-old brother Aaftab went missing in violence that engulfed parts of the capital, but the trio from UP still haven’t been able to visit Shiv Vihar police station.

“People told us to not visit Shiv Vihar, as we too, could end up going missing like our brother Aaftab,” laments Rizwan. As a result, the family has not been able to file a missing complaint, let alone any information on Aaftab’s present condition.

Firoz says that on 24 February, his brother Aaftab was trapped inside a warehouse, as mobs went on a rampage on the streets. The next morning, four policemen arrived and asked Aaftab to step outside, saying he was in safe hands.

“But since then, he’s been missing. We heard a group of rioters had attacked him. Some say he was beaten by rioters, others say he was taken away by the police. We don’t have any news about his whereabouts.  
Firoz, Aaftab’s brother

With hopes of pursuing higher education, Aaftab had left his village in Bijnor to work as a construction labourer in Delhi. Today, members of his family skip a heart beat, each time a body arrives at the mortuary.

“We heard they recovered a few bodies from a drain, se we went inside to check. It wasn’t Aaftab’s,” says Firoz.

In a conversation with his family back home, Rizwan adds, “Pray to Allah so that he returns home. For, if he comes back safe, we will be jubilant and offer prayers at the mosque.”

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