March 2, 2020 3:47:19 am
Naseem Alam (47) broke down as he came out of the mortuary at Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital Sunday afternoon, inconsolable despite efforts by his three sons. Inside the cold walls of the mortuary, he had just identified the body of his eldest son Arshad (22), who had been missing since Thursday evening.
“He had gone for work; in the evening he called his mother, asking if everyone in the house is okay,” said his cousin Imran.
Alam could only recall the last thing Arshad told his mother over the phone: “Mere abba theek hain? Aap sab theek ho? Dhyan rakhna main bhi jaldi aa jaunga (Is father okay? Is everyone at home okay? Take care, I will come home soon.)”
His phone was unreachable afterwards. Since there were instances of violence near the family home in Karawal Nagar, they only started looking for Arshad the next day and also made a police complaint.
Imran said they searched for Arshad at nearly every big hospital in Northeast Delhi before coming to GTB Hospital on Sunday. A policeman at the hospital said he died of a head injury.
Arshad, who used to repair mobiles and paint walls for a living, was the eldest son. His father also works as a painter.
Seven days after violence broke out in parts of Northeast Delhi, the search for missing persons continued, with families arriving at GTB hospital and other hospitals to see if their loved ones were among the dead or injured.
Aqil Ahmed (40) was identified by his two brothers-in-law Saturday evening. They said his body was found in a drain in Shiv Vihar.
His family remembered that they didn’t hear from him since Thursday evening, when he was returning home to Mustafabad after spending a day with his wife and four children at his mother-in-law’s house in Loni.
Ahmed’s wife, Zainab (35), said, “We saw on TV that the violence had subsided so he decided to return. We didn’t accompany him because my mother has been ill for quite some time. I called him the following morning to check if he has gone to work, but his phone was switched off.”
She was then informed by her mother-in-law that Ahmed had not returned home. The family also contacted their relatives but there was no news of him.
On Saturday, Ahmed’s two brothers-in-law, Aslam (48) and Chand Babu (47), identified his body at GTB mortuary. “He had an injury on the head and stab wounds,” Babu said.
Ahmed, who used to wash cars for a living, was the sole breadwinner of the family. His wife said work was scant for about a year but they were managing. “We don’t know what we will do now,” said Zainab. Ahmed is survived by his wife and four children — two sons aged 9 and 16, and two daughters aged 6 and 15.
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