Sunday, February 23, 2020, will forever be in the memories of some, who saw blood, violence, chaos and fear that had many families from various communities uniting and helping each other in the time of need and adding a humane touch as Delhi burned.
Places like Babarpur, Maujpur, Seelampur and Vijay Park in Northeast Delhi went up in flames and saw bloodshed as protestors vandalised shops, homes and killed people. Journalists were attacked and a mosque was set on fire in Ashok Nagar's Gali No. 5.
People in search of safer haven
People belonging to one particular community were forced to leave their homes as they were scared to be a part of what was happening in Northeast Delhi and looked for a safer haven. As they looked around for hope, their Hindu neighbours provided them more than just hope; they kept them, fed them and saved their lives.
Tuesday became gruesome with shops and homes engulfed in fire as a mob of 1,000 entered the colony near Badi masjid in the mid hour of the day. The mob barged the mosque where at least 20 people were offering prayers.
Khursheer Alam, one among the six, who lost their homes to riots and violence on Tuesday, recalled, "I was at the mosque when suddenly a huge group of people entered and started shouting slogans. We had no options but to run to save our lives."
Khursheer when returned to his abode could only see ashes.
Mohammad Tayub was another resident, who added to the statement saying that the mob vandalised the mosque and set it ablaze and hoisted the tricolour and a saffron flag.
Pintu, a Hindu, who lives alongside the two and is their neighbour said that though their homes and shops have been gutted down, they won't be left alone in the times of crisis. Everyone here stands by them and they will not leave them alone in this state of misery.
Another humane touch was added by a Gurudwara as people struggled to save themselves from the aggressors. The Gurudwara opened its gates for Muslim families fleeing from riot-hit areas.
The Sikhs, who are known to come ahead and help people who are in need of food, peace and shelter, not only helped people seek shelter, they also patrolled the area to ensure no rioter can cause further damage.
The entire episode led to over 25 people losing their lives leaving more than 150 injured and is one of the worst incidents Delhi has witnessed in recent years.