“I haven’t left the BJP yet but I will in a few days if the party does not reach out to me… Main sadak par aa gaya hoon, phir kaise apne pairon pe khada hoon?” said Mohammad Atiq, who heads the BJP minority cell of Brahmpuri mandal. A resident of Usmanpur, Atiq’s undergarments factory in Karawal Nagar was set on fire on the night of February 25.
“My neighbour called to tell me about the fire. I have not yet visited the factory out of fear. My younger brother’s factory nearby was also set on fire. I hoped the BJP leaders would at least call, extend help, console me,” said Atiq (45).
A father of five, Atiq said he has been a BJP ground worker for 16-17 years. “I am from Bihar too, like our Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari. He knows me… But I have a Muslim name, humein toh paraya hi kar diya,” he said.
Atiq said he set up the business around 14 years ago and that the factory was set up in a rented space. “As violence spread, I told my employees to pack up and leave a day ago only. I was home when I got the call about the fire… I feel so helpless,” he said.
Atiq said members of his community often questioned his decision to be a BJP worker. “I believed in PM (Narendra) Modi’s sabka saath, sabka vikas and would argue with those who criticised the BJP. Now they ask me what the party has done for me. I have no answer,” said Atiq.
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