NEW DELHI: F 7/1, Chand Bagh, was once what four families called home. Now though, the charred remains of the structure serve as a chilling reminder of the violence that shook the neighbourhood to its core. Recalling the incidents which sound like a dystopian nightmare, Shaheen and Gani Mohammad, residents of the house, said that the riots left them without a roof over their heads.
“We are visiting our house for the first time since it was destroyed by the mob. One could tell that those people had no spec of humanity left in them. Somehow, my family and I went to the roof and took the ladder behind to flee to Faridabad,” said Shaheen, a single mother of two, who lost her husband a few years back.
Neighbours gathered around Shaheen and rallied together to get some food for the aggrieved families of F 7/1. Doing whatever possible within their means, the neighbours try to alleviate the pain the families are going through while still coming to grips with their own personal loses.
“No one from the government has come to see us. I used to have my own shop inside the house. That’s now gone, my bread and butter is now lost,” said Mohammad.
“I recently heard about the compensation being provided by the Delhi government to the affected families, but what about all the important paperwork and documents of mine that have now been turned to ashes? The politicians only care about votes. The Chief Minister is making announcements from his own safe haven, while our lives are being burnt to the ground,” he added.
The house which had a total of four rooms looks is now deserted and barely standing.
The residents are scared to even enter their house fearing that the roof might collapse on them at any point of time. Shaheen and the others discussed among themselves the need to construct the building all over from scratch.
“We took shelter at one of my cousin’s place far away from the riots. They helped us a lot but for how long can we afford to be a burden to them. Ultimately one has to return home, unfortunately for us, there is no home anymore,” said another inhabitant of the building.
The damage done by the fire is visible on the two-storey house. While an investigation is underway, the residents of the scorched building can only look on and bemoan about what their future holds.