The fire of anti-Hindu riots in the name of anti-CAA protests in Delhi has cooled on the seventh day, but the victims of this violence will continue to shed tears for many months and years to come. Some are shedding tears waiting to have the last darshan of their dear ones, while some are in pain because they don’t yet have an idea about the whereabouts of their family. There is a similar story of Dharmendra Varma who disappeared in the midst of anti-Hindu riots. For seven days Dharmendra’s family members have been in terrible condition waiting for him.
Seven days after the anti-Hindu riots started from Chand Bagh in Delhi, an OpIndia team reached Brijpuri, to meet the riot victims. Some Hindu victims have locked their homes and left, while the remaining Hindu victims have been imprisoned in their homes for the last seven days. Something similar was seen in Dharmendra’s locality.
There was silence in the streets of this Hindu-dominated area. Some people were seen coming out of the houses due to some necessary work. We reached Dharmendra Varma’s house by making inquiries. After calling them from the door some members of the family peeped down one after the other, so we introduced ourselves to them and told about our desire to talk to them and learn more about the incident.
The family members brought the distraught mother, worried about her son, down the stairs, but she was unable to speak anything. Then, the elder brother Dhirendra Verma said, “Muslim women started protesting against the CAA on Sunday itself. Around five o’clock in the evening, Dharmendra Verma left the house, saying that he should go outside. Late in the evening, it was reported that violence had started towards Jafrabad. It was almost eight o’clock at night, but the younger brother had not returned home yet. After this, we tensed family members went out to search for him. We could not find any clue till late in the night.”
According to elder brother Dhirendra, from the morning of the next day itself, he set out to find Dharmendra. But on Monday, the situation in the area had become so chaotic that he was forced to return home empty-handed. After that, he made calls to those nearby and the relatives living far away to enquire about Dharmendra’s whereabouts. He even went to GTB Hospital to search Dharmendra among the injured and the dead bodies of victims of Delhi riots kept there, but could not find any clue. Dharmendra’s mother and younger brother are in bad health at home and unable to stop their tears.
Dhirendra further adds, “On Monday, the situation outside had become so bad that we could not leave even if we wanted to. Not merely that, we remained imprisoned in our homes for three days, hungry and thirsty and weeping. When the atmosphere became peaceful, we informed the police in writing about Dharmendra’s disappearance. The police assured us of all possible help, but today it has been seven days and Dharmendra has not been found yet. ”
People standing nearby told us that after Dharmendra’s disappearance, his mother did not eat food for four days. People have forcefully fed her after her health worsened. Dharmendra’s mother appeared to be suffering from some serious illness. Dhirendra told us that he takes care of his mother throughout the day while Dharmendra’s father Veersahaay goes out every morning to find his son on an empty stomach but late in the night, returns home empty-handed and dejected.
15-year-old Dharmendra Verma (son of Veersahaay) living in Brijpuri was the second among the three brothers. Due to the worsening financial condition of the family, he used to go to a factory to learn work after quitting his studies. Dharmendra’s father and his elder brother Dhirendra work as a labourer in a factory and support the family.