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Delhi violence | Father meets baby first time after riots

“There was little warning,” said Shabana holding her newborn son, yet to be named. “There was no family around to even name my son,” she said as she recollected his birth on the night of February 24 at the Al-Hind Hospital in north-east Delhi’s Mustafabad. The mother and the child have remained in the hospital ever since.

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Rescued and brought to the hospital by her Hindu neighbours after violence broke out in the area, Ms. Shabana was delivered of the child without any family member around. On Sunday, nearly a week after the child was born, the father, Firoz Khan, could manage to meet the baby.

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“I had gone to Ghaziabad’s Loni for some work with a few of my family members and we just could not come back home. I was worried and scared. I broke down many times thinking of what the mob would have done to my family. As soon as we returned in the morning today [Sunday], I rushed to the hospital to see my child,” he said.

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The family is now worried about how it will manage to return to normal life. “Our neighbours saved our lives, but they could not save our house and shop. Everything we had has been destroyed. The people even burnt the books of our children. I have a sister and mother too and I don’t know where to go now,” said Mr. Khan.

While some members of the family stayed back at the hospital, others stayed with friends and extended family. The family members said that while they were thrilled at the arrival of baby, they were not sure when they would be able to take the newborn home.

“There is a lot of fear among the people. We are simple lower-middle-class people. We have nothing to do with politics. We just want everyone to be happy and safe. We just hope that the nightmare ends soon,” said Mr. Khan’s relative Masar Jahan.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 9:39:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/father-meets-baby-first-time-after-riots/article30958254.ece

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