Editors: Vivek Gupta & Md Ibrahim
“We will stand by him (Akbar) no matter what. He is a good person and this should not have happened to him. The men who are responsible for this, each of them, must be identified in the videos and booked. Even if they want to kill me for supporting a Muslim, let them go ahead. I will support him,” Pooja Dixit, a resident of Ashok Nagar, told The Quint.
The violence that began in northeast Delhi on 23 February spread to Ashok Nagar on 25 February, where two mosques, eight shops, and homes of Muslims were vandalised, burned and looted, including Akbar’s meat shop.
He said he has lost items worth Rs 2 lakh in the looting. As he broke into tears, the colony’s women came forward to console him.
It’s wasn’t just shops and homes – two mosques, Badi and Chand Masjid were vandalised too.
On Badi Masjid, situated between Gali No 5 and 6 of Ashok Nagar, a saffron flag was planted. While its vandalism was taking place, 65-year-old Jeetender Verma, who lives across the mosque, rushed out to reason with the mob.
“I tried to tell them to stop vandalising the mosque and the shops. I told them that this is not good for both communities but they started beating me up. I ran for my life and they kept pelting stones at his home.”
Verma said they chanted ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ slogans. Despite him telling them they were hurting both the communities, which he believes is against Indian culture, they prevailed. Many eyewitnesses, including Muslims, saw him plead with the mob.
Half-a-kilometre away is Chand Masjid, where Moinuddin told us all Hindus and Muslims lived happily and in harmony with one another in the area.
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