‘The only reason we escaped the mob was because we had not circumcised our son’
The mob dragged Farheen’s brother out and left him to die at a drain nearby. They had thrashed her husband unconscious
“The only reason we escaped from the mob was because we had not circumcised our son. We thought we will wait till he is bigger. That saved our family,” said an anguished Farheen, whose brother was dragged out of their house and killed by an armed Hindutva mob and her husband beaten up.
Farheen was at home in Bhagirathi Vihar near Gokulpuri along with her extended family when they heard a mob of around 50 men rushing upstairs. They immediately locked themselves up in several rooms to stay alive. But, the crazed mob broken open the doors, vandalised the house and thrashed her husband and brother. The mob dragged her brother out and left him to die at a drain nearby. They had thrashed her husband unconscious.
“We live on the third floor of a chuna factory and this happened around 7.30 pm on February 25. There were five women and six children at home in addition to my husband and brother. My children were shaking with fear when they heard the mob. We were all worried for our lives and I told the children to be quiet,” added Farheen.
They dragged Farheen’s brother Musharaff from under the bed and when he pleaded for his life, the armed mob mocked him. “We heard all of this from indoors. The electricity had been cut off as our building has CCTV cameras. All of this happened in the dark. We screamed from inside when we heard them thrashing the men. When they heard us screaming, the mob asked if we were also ‘Mohammadans’ and asked us to open the door. When we opened the door, they wanted to know if there were men in the room. When we replied in the negative, they asked to shut the door again and we obeyed,” stressed Farheen. On their way out, the mob destroyed the cooler and a few other electronic devices at home.
After a while Farheen’s husband knocked on their door asking them to open it. When they opened it, they found him bleeding, but he asked them to escape. He was worried they would come back again at night to vandalise and threaten the women at home. When we went downstairs, we saw the mob had not attacked the Hindu family.
“They came to our rescue. They took in my husband and told us that we should all go to a relative’s house because they would not be able to keep all of us in the house. They gave us bangles, sindoor and adjusted our dupattasand told us to call our relatives and leave the colony. As we were leaving, we saw that all the others on the ground floor had locked their homes and left. There were Muslims who were staying on the ground floor also,” explained Farheen.
As they were walking out of their locality, they were stopped by armed tilak-sporting men. “They asked us if we were Muslims. “I had my mother, my sister, sister-in-law with me and the children, who were girls. When I said I was a Hindu, they did not believe me. They said we looked like Muslims. They removed the trousers of my son and when they saw he was not circumcised, they decided to believe us. They still looked at us suspiciously, but we walked away quickly. We only breathed once we reached the main road,” said the 35-year-old. Farheen and her family now live with their relatives in Shahdara.
Once her husband Asif felt better, he stepped out to find his brother-in-law’s body lying in a drain a little away from home. Musharraf’s body was brought to Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital and they were waiting for the post-mortem to be conducted even on Friday.