Delhi violence: At hospitals, some look for cure, others closure

Ghughuti Bulletin

NEW DELHI: “When we heard the mob attacking the houses nearby, we hid the men in our family under clothes and inside a cupboard. But the rioters barged in and dragged my brother out though he kept pleading, ‘Main aapka bhai hoon’. After two days of searching for him, we finally came to Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital where we located his body,” wept Farheen, sister of Mohammed Musharraf.

Farheen’s household is tragically fortunate to have found Chand Bagh resident Musharraf’s body on Thursday morning. There are many families that are still to locate loved ones missing since violence broke out in northeast Delhi on Sunday and for them there is no sense of closure yet. As more bodies are being found in the smouldering debris of the communal frenzy, the toll climbed to 38 on Thursday.

Between big sobs, Farheen narrated, “We were actually preparing to leave the area at the first opportune time, but even as we prepared to go, a mob attacked our neighbourhood. Ours was among the first houses to be attacked. Hindu families occupied the first two floors and the horde skipped them while rushing to our second floor house. I had hidden my husband under a pile of clothes and my brother inside a cupboard. My husband had a miraculous escape, but my brother was discovered, dragged out and beaten in the road before being pushed into a car and taken away. We cried for help but it was all futile.”

When the situation calmed down a bit, the family ventured out to trace the 35-year-old Musharraf. “We went to many places. Then an acquaintance of Musharraf informed us of hearing that he had been thrown into the Chand Bagh drain. We went there but didn’t find anything. Today morning, we came to GTB Hospital and finally found him — dead,” Farheen said.

Waris Ali Khan had also been searching for his nephew, Mohseen, 24, since Tuesday. “Mohseen owns a generator shop in Noida. Around 5pm that day, he had returned home to Bhajanpura, where he also had to meet someone for a work-related appointment,” Khan said. “Near the temple, a mob surrounded his car and heckled him. He managed to call a friend who was on speed dial on his phone, but before anyone could rush to his aid, the rabble thrashed him and threw him into a drain. His body must have been fished out and brought to GTB Hospital.”

Rajiv Saini, a resident of Brahmpuri, was lying on the floor at the hospital awaiting news of the condition of his brother, Naresh, 32. “He is lying in the ICU for the last three days. He was shot in the chest outside our house. He has a five-year-old daughter and a three-year-old son,” Saini mumbled.

Waiting for the post-mortem of his sibling to be carried out, Muzammil Khan described Tuesday as the worst day of their life for the family. “We live in Kabir Nagar,” Muzammil said. “When things quietened down after the violence, my brother Mudassir went out to buy food. He never returned. He was shot in his head. His wife and six daughters are left without a bread winner.”

GTB hospital director Dr Sunil Kumar said 215 riot victims had been treated there since Monday. “However, at the moment, only 51 patients are receiving treatment in the various departments. The rest have been discharged,” he said. Dr Kumar added that only one of the admitted patients is in a critical state. “In all, we have confirmed 33 deaths. Of these, 22 were already dead when brought to the hospital, while nine died after admission,” the hospital director said.

Also at the hospital were those recovering from the murderous attacks. Ashfaq, one of them, said, “I was hit by a rod when trying to save my brother from the mob. Thank God, I am not dead like so many others in my neighbourhood. I think we will shift back to our hometown of Patna.”

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