NEW DELHI: A small structure stood between two landmarks in the Brijpuri area of northeast Delhi — Arun Modern Senior Secondary School and Farukhi Jama Masjid. While the little house sandwiched between the two buildings remain intact, the school and the mosque bear testimony to the ferocious violence that erupted in the area on Tuesday.
The 30-year-old school was vandalised and gutted on Tuesday by a mob, largely from neighbouring Mustafabad, principal Jyoti Rani alleged.
People in the vicinity of the mosque said a “murderous” mob armed with lathis, swords, hockey sticks, knives and gun had descended on it the same evening when nearly 100 people were praying inside.
On Wednesday afternoon, firemen were still at work dousing the flames that had left the signs of destruction and ruin imprinted on every wall of the two structures.
At the school affiliated with the Central Board of Secondary Education, where nearly 800 children are enrolled, owner Abhishek Sharma said he was too distraught to even assess the extent of losses.
“It was sheer madness that happened here. I learnt that a crowd of nearly 1,000 armed men barged in and vandalised everything,” said Rani who has been at the school since the beginning.
“The crowd broke opened the library, and burnt the books. It is gut-wrenching to see the half-burnt books strewn around.”
In the mosque, blood spots are still clearly visible on the floor. Its muezzin, who was attacked with lathis on his head, succumbed to injuries on Wednesday while a Mufti who ran the madrasa is said to be critical.
Mohammad Laik, a 48-year-old trader of old clothes who lives just a few houses away, had ferried the duo to the Al-Hind hospital in the neighbourhood after the attack.
On Wednesday, he along with his wife and three children and 17 students from the madrasa, shifted to his in-laws’ house two km away. “It was so unsettling to even breathe in the area that was filled with rage and smoke till a few hours back,” he said. Others question police inaction in controlling the violence.
Aszad, whose narrow, the three-storeyed house is across a drain that divides Brijpuri from Muslim-dominated Mustafabad, alleged policemen were involved in attacking the mosque and the people inside.
“I took a video of cops abetting and even leading mobs,” he said.
His friend Ikrar Mahmoud pointed out that while several mosques in the area had been targeted, not a single temple was vandalised in retaliation.
“It’s clear who is getting it done and why,” he said.