Every Friday,14-year-old Lukman would take a bus from Meerut to meet his grandparents in Masuri. His parents would see him off in Meerut and when he alighted in Masuri at 8 pm,his grandfather Asim would be waiting for him. He was used to spending his weekends in a village that had never seen any trouble. However,it all went wrong on Friday.
Caught in the middle of a mob on the rampage,gunshots,burning cars and advancing policemen,Asim couldnt find his grandson. He was forced to flee the violence on NH-24,where he would pick up Lukman every Friday. At 6 am on Saturday,his daughter Jahan received a phone call,asking them to identify Lukmans body.
Jahan said,He had a gunshot wound and bruises all over the body. When my sister came to take the body of her son,she wouldnt even look at me. His exams were approaching,but I had persuaded her to let him come this week. This family will be broken forever.
Almost all the six killed in Fridays mob violence were bystanders. All except one were under 20 years old.
Asif,another one of those killed,was standing on his terrace opposite Masuri police station,the epicentre of the nights events. He was trying to catch a glimpse of the violence. I told him to stay in the house. But he said he would not get hurt. A while later,we heard a scream and rushed upstairs. He was dead. His brother Nazim had a bullet wound to the stomach, Asims cousin Wajahat said. His family had to wait three hours before they could take the two to hospital. Asif was declared dead on arrival. Nazims condition is critical.
Wahid had gone to the gym in the evening. Around 8 pm,he called up his family. He told us that he had parked his Honda Activa on the roadside as the police werent letting him come back. He didnt call again. The next morning,we were asked to collect his body. Im sure he didnt join the mob, a relative said.
While family members of Amir (16) and Wahid (18) did not wish to speak at length,they said the two were caught in the crossfire. Wahid went to look for his younger brother,and Amir was told to bring his father home. Amirs father returned,but he didnt.
Another of those killed,19-year-old Wasim,was the first of his family to pursue a BTech degree,from Sunder Deep College.
At 35,Hayat was the oldest of the six who died,and was,perhaps,the only one to be involved in the clash. One of his friends said,He was called and told that somebody had desecrated the Quran,so he left for the mosque. That was the last we heard of him.