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Saturday, November 27, 2021

Muzaffarnagar: ‘Why not get us a job? We will leave’

Around 50,000 Muslim families affected by the riots continue to be scattered all around Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts, all in the outskirts of towns or villages

Written by Ishita Mishra |
Updated: January 1, 2017 5:35:11 am
muzaffarnagar riots, muslims india, muslims muzaffarnagar, india news Loman’s selfie in favourite white shirt

In 2017, Loman Ali hopes to get a job. The money would help, but above all, the job would allow him to get married to the love of his life. They met at a wedding in Kandhla and fell in love instantly, he says. Living in a one-room house with his father, two brothers, two sisters-in-law and their five children, in Kairana’s Nahid Colony built for the riot victims of Muzaffarnagar, Loman pines for privacy to even talk to her.

He hasn’t thought about whether he can legally marry the girl, who is 17 too. When it comes to that, the teenager hopes the fact that he has no document proving his age will help. Since no one in the family, originally belonging to Fugana village — one of the worst hit in the September 2013 violence — remembers his birthday, it is an approximate guess that he is 17.

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“I lost my mother when I was two, on my birthday. Abba only remembers it was in the summer,” Loman says.

The family moved to this colony, 17 km from Kairana, two years ago. His two other brothers live in a house next to theirs.

Loman was about to give the mid-term exams of Class 9 when the riots broke out. He says he was attacked by his own Hindu friends on his way back from school, while his uncle was killed. “Uske baad kabhi gaaon jana nahin hua (I never returned to the village after that),” says Loman. In Nahid Colony, all the men in the family work as labourers, and the work isn’t regular.

The claim by BJP MP Hukum Singh that Hindus are leaving Kairana as they are being harassed by Muslims, especially the riot victims, is a mockery of those like his family, Loman says. “If they can’t help us, they should not make our lives worse either. Who wants to live here? It’s hell. Why don’t they get us a job? We will go where they want.”

The highlight of his life since 2013 has been the day he met the girl he loves, Loman says. Having saved Rs 30,000 from working in a factory in Kairana, he had bought a van, and it was in this that he drove to the wedding where he met her. “She was impressed by both my white van and my white shirt,” he laughs.

“Uske abba uske liye ladka dekh rahe hain. Woh Inter paas hai, main padha to nahin uske jitna, magar kamane lagoonga to uske abba uska haath mujhe de denge. Jitna khona tha kho diya… maa, ghar, chachu… Ab use paana chahta hoon (Her father is looking for a groom for her. She has studied up to Class 12, I haven’t studied as much, but if I start earning, her father will let me marry her. I have lost all I could… mother, home, uncle… Now I just want to have her),” says Loman.

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