Lone breadwinner dies in Delhi riots, family stares at bleak future

A small-time electrician, Ishteyaque was the third among four siblings. He is survived by two elder sisters and a younger brother, who got married 15 days ago.

Published: 28th February 2020 10:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th February 2020 10:31 AM   |  A+A-

Neighbours and family members of Ishteyaque leave for burial. (Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Ishteyaque Khan’s room at Kabir Nagar is intact — his wife’s bangles and earrings neatly arranged on the rack alongside essentials, his five-year-old daughter’s school ID hung from a wall hook, and his under two-year-old son’s tiny shoes kept next to a television set. 

But, this cramped room painted in blue and green will be inhabited by one member less now. Ishteyaque, 26, succumbed to bullet injuries in the northeast Delhi riots on Tuesday. His fault? He went out to buy ‘cheese’ for his children.  

A small-time electrician, Ishteyaque was the third among four siblings. He is survived by two elder sisters and a younger brother, who got married 15 days ago.

ALSO READ: Families search for missing loved ones as Delhi limps back to normalcy

As locals took Ishtiyaque’s body away for burial on Thursday evening, his family struggled to pick up the pieces of what happened since Tuesday till they received the body after the post-mortem on Thursday morning.

“Where will I look for him? They took my heart away. Who will take care of the kids? He was running the house. He had not even gone out for 10 minutes... The kids wanted cheese so he went out to get it. Had I known this would happen, I would never let him go,” said an inconsolable Nafisa, Ishteyaque’s mother. 

Nafisa blamed police and BJP’s Kapil Mishra for her son’s killing. “Police sided with the rioters.”  

Ishtiyaque’s wife Zeba, 25, remained in stoic silence.  As women from the locality kept streaming into the house, daughter Zainab looked around with confusion written large on her face. She has not stopped asking about her father since Tuesday.

Other kids took turns to hold Ishteyaque’s son Zaid. Locals said the root cause for the violence was evident — the hate speech of BJP leader Kapil Mishra. “There is only one person responsible for this violence. That is Kapil Mishra. We were fighting for our rights by going to the anti-CAA protest.

If they had to remove us, they should have done it peacefully. What was the point of inciting hate among the communities and making the videos viral? The riots happened because of him,” said Shaheera, a local.


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