Migrant labourer assaulted in Delhi violence

Published : February 27, 2020 15:10 IST

After the violence. Photo: Divya Trivedi

The injured continued to trickle into Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital in North East Delhi on February 26, much after the Rapid Action Force had been deployed to control the communal violence that spread following Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kapil Mishras speech inciting hatred.

Lying on a stretcher in the parking lot of the hospital was a young boy of 20, bandaged from head to toe and unattended. Salim (name changed) is a migrant labourer from Uttar Pradesh. Amidst the violence that lasted three days, his landlord, with whom he also worked as a tailor, threw him out of his job and living quarters. The reason for his ouster is not clear though it is indicated that the polarised atmosphere between two communities might have been the immediate trigger for his Jat landlord in doing so.

As Salim was walking the streets at 5 in the morning with nowhere to go, he was accosted by a mob of around 50 people at Gonda Chowk. They asked him his name and as soon as he uttered it, they began to attack him with iron pipes. He did not know how long the beatings lasted as he passed out soon. He was brought to the hospital by the policemen. He was alone at the time of the attack.

Though no fresh violence was reported from the areas on Wednesday, people who were injured the previous day but unable to venture out for treatment because of security issues slowly made their way to GTB Hospital. Some like Farhan (name changed), who was discharged from the hospital after being treated for an eye injury sustained while fleeing a mob that was throwing bricks at him, sat on the pavement, afraid to go back home. “The hospital discharged me two hours ago but I cannot go home. The police are shooting along with the mob and I don’t want to get hurt again,” he said. He was assaulted while performing namaz inside Farrukiya masjid in Chandbagh.

When Frontline visited the mosque which was adjacent to a Citizenship (Amendment) Act protest site on Brijpuri puliya (small bridge), it was burnt, damaged and deserted. The protest site too lay deserted.


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