New Delhi, India —
A man and a woman belonging to different religions shared common space to run their respective shops at North-East Delhi’s Gokulpuri near Buddha Vihar, which was looted and set ablaze by rioters during the recent Delhi violence.
Mohammad Rashid, 42, belonging to the Muslim community and owner of the Cloth Emporium, shared his ground floor space with Krishna, 35, who belongs to the Hindu community, and had been running Vaishnodevi boutique for the last five years.
“I was in my house when I heard the people vandalising our shops. I stayed back. There were around 300 people. It was not possible to stop them because they had already entered our alley. A day later I came to know that our shop was not only looted but also burnt,” said Krishna.
Krishna continued saying: “We are like brother and sister. We are like one family. We are Indians. There was absolutely no need for this foolishness.”
Rashid said the entire shop was reduced to ashes.
“I had kept my PAN, Aadhaar cards here in the shop which were burnt along with other documents,” added Rashid.
Krishna incurred a loss of a minimum Rs 3 lakh, while Rashid’s loss is estimated to be of around Rs 13 lakh.
No fresh violence has been reported in the area since recently. Measures are being taken by the Centre to restore peace and normalcy.
Till Saturday, at least 42 people lost their lives and more than 200 people sustained serious injuries in the communal violence that rocked north-east Delhi for four days.
Two Special Investigation Teams (SIT) have been constituted under the Delhi Police’s Crime Branch to investigate the violence.