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After violence, locals live in dark in riot-hit Delhi

By Gaurav Saini
March 02, 2020 19:36 IST
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Scores of people in violence-hit areas of northeast Delhi have been spending their nights in the dark as power lines damaged during the riots remain unrepaired and dangle precariously outside their houses.

IMAGE: A man sits in front of burnt out properties in a riot affected area following the clashes in New Delhi. Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

Damaged electricity meters are also yet to be repaired and people complain that no help has reached them till now.

Infrastructure of the BSES Yamuna Power Limited, which supplies electricity to northeast Delhi, suffered considerable damage during the violence that left at least 42 people dead and over 200 injured, including three workers of the power discom.


Sujeet Tomar, 28, a resident of Mustafabad, and his family returned to their house six days after violence rocked the area but wondered how will they spend the night without power.

"Most of the people, including Hindus and Muslims, in our lane have fled. Almost all the houses are locked. I and my family spent six days at my uncle's house. We returned just now... Though my house did not suffer any damage but there's no power supply. I wonder how will we stay here?" he said.

Tomar said they depend on a submersible pump for their water needs, but it won't work without electricity.

Mukesh Devi, 50, who returned from her relative's residence in Gokulpuri to her house in Mustafabad on Sunday, expressed helplessness upon seeing the dark alleys with bricks and garbage strewn around.

"There's no electricity and no one has come yet to repair the wires. I could cook only with the help of an emergency lantern. Please ask officials to help us if you can," she said.

Asha Goswami, 37, a resident of Shiv Vihar, enquired from a paramilitary personnel if "anyone from the power department has come to repair power lines and meters"?

"We have nowhere to go, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to stay here either. There is a shortage of supplies. Shops are shut and there's no power. No one has come to help us or assure us that we are safe," she said.

Power cables and poles were damaged and burnt near Kalyan Cinema (Chauhan Bangar), Rajput Mohalla (Brahmpuri), Vijay Park (Adarsh Mohalla), B-4, Yamuna Vihar, tyre market, Gokalpur, Ashok Nagar, Khajuri Khas, Chand Bagh and Old Mustafabad by the miscreants, a BSES official had said.

A number of people also complained of cash crunch in ATMs on Sunday as they lined up to withdraw money from the machines which were either not working or not refilled.

Kailash Kumar, who lives in Mustafabad, said his family plans to leave for their hometown in Uttar Pradesh's Ghazipur area in the aftermath of the violence, but he could not withdraw cash for travel.

"We remained inside our house for three days. Today, when I came to withdraw money from an ATM, I returned empty-handed. Most ATM kiosks in the area are shut," he had said.

Jaffrabad, Maujpur, Babarpur, Chand Bagh, Shiv Vihar, Bhajan Pura, Yamuna Vihar and Mustafabad were among the worst hit during the violence in northeast Delhi.

A large number of properties have been damaged. Frenzied mobs had torched houses, shops, vehicles, a petrol pump and pelted stones at locals and police personnel.

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Gaurav Saini
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