Riot victims ‘dissatisfied’ with Delhi govt.’s relief measures

Riot-affected victims at a relief camp in Mustafabad in Delhi on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

Scores of riot victims who have shifted to Idgah ground in Mustafabad and other localities in the area said on Tuesday that they were not satisfied with the Delhi government’s relief measures.

Seher Bano, whose house was vandalised and looted, said she had to shift to Idgah ground as “I do not know where the relief camps set up by government are”.

“We are getting food, water and clothes from our own people. I have heard there is a process for compensation but I do not know the details. Politicians have not visited our area,” she added.

Several NGOs and private entities have set up helpdesks and kiosks for legal and medical aid in the area.

At Idgah ground, camps have been set up for victims to stay and get help with documents to be submitted for compensation. Tents for men and women along with children have been set up separately and volunteers were seen sitting with victims helping them with the paper work.

Aleem Khan, whose house in Shiv Vihar was reduced to ashes, said that he received immediate relief of ₹25,000 on Monday when the Sub Divisional Magistrate visited his house. “I am entitled to get ₹5 lakh but how is it enough? I was making my own house nearby and had ₹4 lakh kept in the house,” he claimed.

Sitting next to him was Mohammed Saleem. He had just submitted documents for his burnt electrical shop. “Arvind Kejriwal [Delhi Chief Minister] ne accha kaam kiya hai lekin ab kya kar rahe hain, pata nahin. Paise nahin mile hain abhi tak, pata nahin kitna time lagega (Kejriwal has done some good work but I do not know what he is doing now. I haven’t got the money yet. I don’t know how long it is going to take),” he said.

Most of the people at the camp said their priority was to save their houses and shops.

In the next camp, Arshad, a resident of Shiv Vihar, said he did not know who and what to trust. “People are telling me not to put a lock on my house to ensure that I get compensation... but I fear that my belongings may get stolen. No one is telling us what to do. I went to Karwal Nagar police station to file an FIR but they asked me to leave. Where are the government officials to help us?” he said.

Bismillah, a 70-year-old resident of Shiv Vihar, recalled that she was 18 when she got married and came to the locality. “I have lived in the same house for over 50 years and never saw anything like this. Our own neighbours, who ate at our house, betrayed us. I just want the government to make sure I die in my own house where I came first after marriage,” she cried.

Thirty-two-year-old Shaheen Bano, another resident of Shiv Vihar, said she is not entitled for relief from the Delhi government but wants authorities to ensure that she can safely reside in her rented house and not a relief camp.

Humara paison ka nuksaan nahin hua, usse bada hua hai. Hum beghar ho gaye (Ours is not a loss of money but bigger than that. We are homeless)”.

Shaheen has three young daughters and was living in a house in Chaman Park. She was earlier staying at another house and has shifted twice.

“It has been a week now. I just want the government to tell us where should we go? What should we do? Should we go back to our villages? I want the government to provide us safety and security to return to our houses,” she said, adding that her Hindu landlord has asked her to come back but she is unsure.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 4:19:18 PM |

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