A Muslim Bharatiya Janata Party leader has claimed that his home, along with those of a few of his relatives, were burnt down by mobs that indulged in violence in Delhi last week, PTI reported on Monday. So far, 46 people have died in the violence that broke out between February 23 and February 26.
The politician, Akhtar Raza, alleged that a crowd had gathered in his Bhagirath Vihar locality on the evening of February 25, and added that the mob went on a rampage soon after. “The crowd raised religious slogans and began setting houses on fire,” Raza, the district vice president of the saffron party’s minority cell, said. “There are 19 houses belonging to Muslims in the area including mine and three of my relatives... all were burnt down.”
The BJP leader claimed that most of those who indulged in arson and violence in his neighbourhood were not residents. He further alleged that stones were pelted on him and his family as they fled the locality. “I sought the help of police but was told that the force was short-staffed,” Raza added. “I did not receive any phone call or relief from the party but I have been assured of justice.”
Raza said there were 19 Muslim homes in his neighbourhood and all of them had been “identified and burnt”. “The rioters were from outside,” he told The Telegraph. “But some local residents identified the houses of Muslims.” Six two-wheelers and all of Raza’s family’s possessions in their home were burnt, he said.
The BJP leader has been associated with his party for the past five years, but no one has contacted him after the violence, he claimed, adding there was no “relief or special treatment”. He asserted that he was still with the BJP, adding “maybe I will continue”.
On Monday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced financial aid of Rs 1 crore to the family of Intelligence Bureau official Ankit Sharma, who was killed in the communal violence in North East Delhi last week. The state administration had last week also announced compensation of Rs 1 crore for the family of Ratan Lal, a Delhi Police constable killed in the violence.