The “alleged human body”, says the post-mortem report, was found near Karawal Nagar’s Yamuna Pushta road on February 26, right next to an overturned car, burnt, mangled and decomposed. It was not until February 29, when a team of doctors at GTB Hospital performed an autopsy on the charred bones, that one could be sure the remains were of a person.
But since the identity had to be established, samples were sent for a DNA test on March 3. Two weeks on, the report is yet to come out. “Chalo result toh aa jayegi, par itna toh confirm hai ki wo ek insaan hi tha (the results will come out but at least there is no doubt that it was a human being),” said Haider, whose friend Mohsin Ali has been missing since last month.
An office-bearer of the BJP’s minority cell in Uttar Pradesh’s Hapur, 23-year-old Ali was driving through the area on February 25 where the body was found. On February 24 and 25, Northeast Delhi, including Karawal Nagar, was under the grip of communal riots that left 53 dead and over 300 injured. Ali, the family and police fear, came under its sweep. Their fears deepened after the chassis of the car, found next to the remains, turned out to be the one being driven by Ali.
The social media account of the 23-year-old paints the picture of a vibrant young man with a distinct interest in politics, with albums dedicated to his pre-wedding shoot and meetings of the minority cell. His posts speak highly of the BJP and PM Narendra Modi, while also batting for Hindu-Muslim amity.
Ali, ran a diesel generator set business in Noida’s Sector 5. He moved to Noida in 2010, as his father, a landless farm labourer, was struggling to make ends meet for the family of seven. His uncle Imran Khan, who also runs a generator set business, said: “I brought him here. Initially, he worked under me; he branched out around three-four years ago, launching his own business. After getting married last year, he moved to Ghaziabad. His parents stay in Hapur.”
On February 25, Ali left his shop around 4.30 pm after he received a call from the manager of a community hall at Sabhapur near Yamuna Pushta. “One of his five DG sets, which was rented to the hall, had to be operated on account of a wedding. So he left after having lunch with me,” Haider said. Around 6.45 pm, when Ali’s younger brother Wasim tried calling him, his number was switched off. The family did not worry at first but as reports of the violence started coming in, they began to fear the worst.
The next day when the family went to register a missing complaint, police suggested they check the unidentified bodies and those injured first. “We were told about the burnt car. We went there and the chassis matched. One could not make out if the burnt remains were of a human. So, samples were taken from his parents on March 3 for a DNA test. We still await the report. On Tuesday, his father filed an application in the HC for speedy disposal of the DNA report,” said Khan.