NEW DELHI: The family of 20-year-old Dilbar Singh Negi hoped against hope for two days about getting news of his wellbeing, but all that was dashed when his decapitated and charred body was found in a building of a sweet shop owner in Shiv Vihar for whom he worked.
Negi had come to Delhi from his native Uttarakhand only six months ago and was working at the sweet shop in Shiv Vihar.
On the afternoon of February 24, he had gone to a building in a nearby lane, which served as a restroom for the sweet shop workers and also as a storage space, for a nap, Negi's friend and colleague Shyam Singh said.
According to Singh, as a mob gathered near the shop and started throwing stones around 3 pm.
They eventually managed to sneak out of the shop to safety with the help of some locals.
But luck didn't favour Negi.
"Around 7 pm, Negi called me informing that a large group of people has reached the roof of the building where he had gone to take rest, and was hurling stones from the top.
"I told him to stay hidden inside the two-storey building and come out only when the rioters leave," Singh said.
"Two others were stuck with Negi in the same building but they managed to run to safety around 11 pm. Negi had told me that he would leave the building around 9 pm," he said.
According to locals, the building was set on fire around 11.30 pm.
"Even till late in the night when we could not get any news of Negi we called up the local police station only to be told that police can't reach the area with such intense rioting going on there," Singh said.
Negi's family members kept calling on his mobile phone and his colleagues throughout the next day but of no avail.
"On February 26, when Anil Pal, the owner of the shop went to visit his building with some police personnel, they found Negi's decapitated and charred body on the second floor," he added.
Pal said that Negi's body was found near the staircase it seems he was killed while trying to flee the building.
Negi's father is a farmer and not in the pink of health while his mother is a homemaker.
He had planned to visit his family on Holi.
But now, only his mortal remains would return home.