The violence that engulfed Northeast Delhi over the last few days saw a systematic and targeted attack on Muslims and their homes. Mobs of people were seen on video screaming communal slogans and claiming the police were on their side. According to News18, a mob was burning down every house in Khajuri Khas Gali one by one on February 25.
Among these was the house of BSJ Jawan Mohammad Anees, and it even said so on the sign outside. Despite this, the mob threw a gas cylinder into the house, burning it completely.
The mob first burnt the cars outside, then pelted stones at the house while allegedly shouting, “Idhar aa Pakistani, tujhe naagarikta dete hai (Come here Pakistani, we’ll give you citizenship).” Anees and his family hoped they could reason with them to leave, arguing that this was a man who protected our borders. Despite this, they destroyed the house completely, and Anees, his father, uncle and cousin had to make a swift escape.
The family lost all their life savings, all their gold jewellery, and all the cash they had kept aside for 2 weddings in the next few months. The mob burned his house despite him having spent 3 years in J&K guarding the border.
His cousin Neha was to get married in April, and Anees himself was supposed to get married in May. Rs 3 lakh in cash for the wedding arrangements got burnt along with other valuables and all their belongings. They said,
We used to buy jewellery on instalments, used to give money every month and collected this jewellery.
Anees’ family claims that their Hindu neighbours actually tried to help them by dousing fires and fighting the mob. They say the rioters ‘came from outside’. A total of 35 homes were destroyed by the mob in this area.