Mobs on rampage, shops set afire: Bhajanpura residents recall horror

At least seven people have died since Monday as mobs went on a rampage in parts of northeast Delhi

Delhi riots
The riots in northeast Delhi in February 2020 left at least 53 dead and more than 300 injured. Photo: PTI

Delhi witnessed one of its worst nightmares on Monday (February 24) with angry mobs on rampage setting shops on fire and indulging in rioting.

In this article, residents of Bhajanpura-Yamuna Vihar area recall the horror they all went through on Monday night and Tuesday morning as angry mobs went on a rampage in the northeast Delhi neighbourhood.

As angry mobs ran riot in the Bhajanpura-Yamuna Vihar area all through Monday night and Tuesday morning, residents recalled the fear they underwent, with an elderly man pleading with folded hands before the rioters to spare him as he returned from a hospital where his grandson is undergoing treatment.

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An elderly man claimed he had to plead with folded hands before the rioters to spare him when he was returning from a hospital where his grandson is admitted.

“I was returning from Ganga Ram Hospital where my grandson is admitted. It was really difficult reaching back home. I had to plead with folded hands with both the groups who were present on the roads after every few steps. Only I know how I managed to return home,” the elderly man, a resident of C Block in Yamuna Vihar, told news agency PTI.

Passersby look at the charred petrol pump set ablaze by rioters on Monday, in Bhajanpura area of Delhi | PTI Photo

A petrol pump was also set on fire in Bhajanpura on Monday. Locals said mobs spilled on main roads, interior lanes and bylanes in residential areas, while security personnel were deployed only on the main road, which leads to Bhajanpura, Rohini one side and Loni, Ghaziabad via Gokalpuri flyover on the other.

“The force is inadequate. Also, they are there but not doing anything…I fail to understand why,” said another Yamuna Vihar resident, requesting anonymity.

Mobs went on a rampage at market places, set shops on fire even as large groups gheraoed homes of some people, attacking their main gates with sticks and stones.

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“A house in my neighbourhood was targeted by a mob of around 200 people in the night. They kept calling us and others for help. They called up police also. But nobody could help them,” said a prominent resident of Yamuna Vihar.

“This morning they showed me a footage of the attack caught in their CCTV camera and it is terrifying. Everyone here is scared,” he said, requesting anonymity as he “feared” giving out his name could lead his “family into trouble”.

At least seven people, including a police head constable, have died since Monday as mobs went on a rampage in Maujpur, Jaffrabad, Babarpur, Bhajanpura, Yamuna Vihar, Chandbagh areas in northeast Delhi.

(With inputs from agencies)