NEW DELHI: Carrying a heavy red suitcase, Sapna repeatedly asks daughter Ankita to walk carefully as the road in Chandbagh it covered with brickbats.
“We cannot take a chance. She is pregnant. I am taking her to with me to live in Ghaziabad for a few days. Today was better but what if the mob turns violent again,” asked Sapna.
Three-month pregnant Ankita looks tired after walking for more than a kilometre but nods in agreement.
“I have not been keeping well. Vehicles cannot come in. Staying here will be risky,” Ankita said. Despite Wednesday remaining largely peaceful, there were many like Sapna in northeast Delhi who worried that the riots may break out again.
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Many locals in violence-hit areas of Maujpur, Chandbagh, Jaffrabad and Bhajanpura complained about the lack of essentials. Long queues were visible in areas where a few shops had opened.
“For the last four days, there is no milk, bread and other basic food items in our house. This rioting hurts the common man the most. The outside elements come and damage property but we suffer the consequences,” said Shakil Ahmed of Jaffrabad, one of the worst affected areas. With a curfew-like situation, the streets are deserted. Only charred homes and shops bear testimony to the losses.
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Travelling is difficult as most autorickshaws and public vehicles are off the road. PP Singh, who lives with his wife and two-year-old daughter in Yamuna Vihar, a largely Hindu-dominated area, said, “On Monday, I spent three hours in my car after I left office because of the riots. Police blocked all the routes. Everyone in the house is scared. We are waiting for the situation to turn normal.”
Mohammad Ayubb, a Mustafabad resident, was inconsolable. Ayubb, who supports a family of six, ran a shop near the Brijpuri area, which was set on fire on Tuesday.
“Jiska jala sirf wo hi jaane (Whose shops or houses have been burnt only they know). What benefit will one get from this violence? Even if I rebuild my shop, scars will forever be there. And money does matter; it will cost lakhs to get it done. My savings aren’t much,” said Ayubb.
Another resident from Karawal Nagar said he was supposed to get a business deal of around `12 lakh, which got blocked because of the riots. “Keeping aside religion, if I calculate my losses it’s a huge sum,” said the man.