Amidst Delhi riots, Shiv Vihar tells tale of Hindu-Muslim unity

NEW DELHI: Amid the mayhem witnessed in northeast Delhi, tales of humanity and compassion getting the better of bigotry and hate was scripted, which was narrated by a Muslim and Hindu resident of Shiv Vihar.

Hindus saves Muslim

The Muslim in Shiv Vihar locality narrated — how his Hindu neighbour saved him and his family’s life.

“Around 9 a.m. on Tuesday, a mob of at least 500 persons arrived in our locality and burnt down my car. Since were no more safe, I escaped along with my wife and children and took refuge in a Hindu brother’s house in the neighbourhood even as the mob burnt alive my older brother who lived nearby,” Saleem Kassar, 48, told 

“The neighbour kept us in his house for the night. The next day, he and his wife helped me and my wife dress up as Hindus. While he applied a ’tilak’ on my forehead, his wife put vermilion and coloured dot on my wife’s forehead. Then only did we step out and took refuge in Mustafabad area,” he said.

Kassar said his dead brother, 52, was the only bread earner of his family, including a married daughter and a visually impaired son-in-law, who lost his eyesight four years ago, and their two children. 

The survivor said that the violence in northeast Delhi was worse than that witnessed in 1984 against the Sikhs after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. 

He said three others were also killed in Shiv Vihar. “One person was locked inside his car and the vehicle set afire in front of my eyes. I narrowly escaped death. I think the rioters come from the Uttar Pradesh border. A few were from Shiv Vihar itself, who are history sheeters. All had their faces covered with cloths or helmets,” Kassar said.

Muslims saves Hindu

Another family that was saved in a similar fashion is of Ram Sewak.

Sewak, who lives in Shiv Vihar was rescued from the extremist mob by the members of a Muslim community who assured him the security by giving shelter in their house.

Ram Sewak said, “There are only one or two houses of Hindus around us. We have never had any problem in the last 35 years. When the violence happened, my Muslim brothers said, Uncle ji, we will not allow you any harm.”