Survivors of Delhi pogrom and relief workers slam AAP government for ‘inaction’

People fleeing to safer locations from Shiv Vihar. Photo: Shaheen Abdulla

Raniya Zulaikha

“We were chased by the goons but the army helped us to take refuge in a hospital. The days felt dreadful but it doesn’t scare us anymore, whereas the concerns about the future does, ” said a survivor of anti-Muslim pogrom in Delhi Rukhsar to whom Alhind Hospital is the only asylum.

Even after days of mayhem, it is shocking that the State govt have failed in providing any means of relief for the people rendered homeless by crimson deeds in the North East Delhi.

“Although AAP declared in their official site as been working on the ground, those present at the site affirms that all the relief including food, clothing and medicines are being provided by private entities alone – either through religious bodies or through civil societies and the official contact numbers declared so far aren’t available ” shares a relief coordinator who wants to remain anonymous.

Avichal Pathik, a volunteer, says  “Over 700 houses are burned and about 40, 000 people have been evacuated. Al hind, Chaman Park and Indra vihar are places where most are rehabilitated into, under the coordination of Mustafabad residents and various activist groups.”

Critics over the abdication by the Delhi govt have been raised from various notable sources.

Harsh Mander, former civil servant and activist, spoke to Maktoob that he was extremely disappointed by the negligence of the state towards the victims, that they are not even raising upto the level of relief works done by various NGOs doing without any security.

‘Deeply dismayed that Delhi govt refusing to set up large relief camps. Homeless shelters are no substitute: they offer neither the safety nor dignity which people battered & terrorized by communal hate require from a caring state. Citizens’ initiatives are trying to fill the gap’ tweeted Harsh Mander.

Dr Anwar, Chief doctor from Al hind hospital, has the same story to tell . None of the government sources have contacted him or the hospital even after knowing that it is being run free for the victims and provide shelter for them.

Students, activists and civil-community based groups are trying in as many ways to connect to the people and provide solace to families who had to abandon their homes due to the violence.

JNU Students have initiated a coordination camp within the campus to collect relief materials and distribute it to the needy.

The collection point of JNU Coordination camp to assist victims of Anti-Muslim riots Photo: Shaheen Abdulla

Jenny Rowena, English professor at Delhi University, trying to coordinate such works among students, said that there are some scanty camps set up by turning night shelters by the government but neither are people going there nor are there proper facilities.

“Some people are upto get amends and many are even afraid to give their names as again civil society people are the ones who are going to do the documentation. The entire burden of relief work has fallen on ordinary citizens and the rightful government machinery and funding which is assigned for this is not being used for this,” she added.

Although compensation is being declared by the Delhi Chief Minister no sources so far have reported about being received by the needy.

Still what keeps them moving is that even in the absence of aids by the officials, independent and student organizations are struggling to provide them solace. But then they are restricted to dawn work as undeclared curfew prevails after 6 pm/ sunset.

Raniya Zulaikha studies BA Political Science at University of Delhi and she had been at the forefront of students protests against Citizenship Amendment Act since it began.

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