My family is under debt, lost sole source of income: Jahangirpuri resident Raheema

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 The residents mostly Muslim are being targeted by Hindutva government demolishing their houses and properties in Jahangirpuri area of New Delhi.

According to Kashmir Media Service, a Muslim family said that they have no other source of income to build their house.

“Please open my door, please stop them, please ask them to at least allow me to take my belongings,” said Raheema, owner of a cold drink booth, which was being razed to the ground in front of her eyes as her family was caged inside their house during the demolition drive.

Utter scenes of chaos prevailed in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri as bulldozers trampled down the constructed houses and structures, just four days after severe communal (Hindu-Muslim) clashes took place in the area during a procession in connection with the Hindu festival Hanuman Jayanti on April 16.

The inconsolable Raheema told media men that since April 20 morning, she kept asking everyone there – be it the media persons or the police personnel – whether her booth will be demolished or not. “None was able to give an answer. However, someone told me that only the scrap and trash which is lying on the road will be taken away. They assured me nothing will happen to your booth,” she said.

The booth was located just 100 metres away from the mosque and the Kushal Cinema hall. The road in front of them became the epicentre of the violent clashes. Raheema’s house was just behind the booth. Her family members were seeing the demolition from their balcony.

The media persons contacted Raheema at the same time when her juice-cum-tobbacco booth was being razed down by the Municipal Corporation. At the time of the process, two Indian CRPF personnel, including one woman, were stationed atop her house.

“My family is under debt. We have taken a Bandhan loan of Rs two lakh from the bank. Every month we are supposed to pay a monthly installment of Rs 12,000. From where will I bring the money. The fight was between Hindus and Muslims, what it had to do with my booth, it was neither of them,” Raheema said, continuously crying on the phone.

Raheema, who was born in Jahangirpuri area, has a family of four members – her husband and three sons aged 2, 12 and 16 years. She said this cold drink shop was the only source of income for her family. “No warning was given, no notice was served. They could have informed us earlier, at least we could have secured the things – cold drinks and cigarettes inside the booth. See there, everything is lying strewn on the road. Let me pick it up,” she added.

Asked whether any member of her family was involved in the April 16 riots or did the police question them after it, Raheema said, “All my kids are very small. We had nothing to do with the clashes. I have been living peacefully here for the past 30 years.”

Even as a reporter continued speaking to the crying woman, suddenly the news of the Indian Supreme Court ordering ‘status quo’ over the demolition drive broke out and the bulldozers were halted to further carry out the demolition.

Raheema was informed about the development, however, the damage was already done and no words could provide solace to her.

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Disclaimer: My family is under debt, lost sole source of income: Jahangirpuri resident Raheema - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect point-of-view

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