The death toll in the deadly violence that has rocked parts of Delhi for the last three days has risen to 34 as of now. While an eerie calm settled over parts of riot-hit northeast Delhi on Wednesday, tales of kindness and humanity gave us hope in these dark times.
As the national capital burned and brought back haunting memories of similar incidents of violence in 1992 after the Babri Masjid demolition, stories of unity, brotherhood, harmony and love in troubled times have also emerged.
The one kilometer stretch of road which connects Muslim dominated Jaffrabad to Maujpur bears a desolate look, as roads remain empty and shops, some of which have been ransacked and burnt, stay closed. Distressing images of streets littered with blackened bricks, injured men and women, and black smoke filling the sky have been widely circulated on social media.
Yet, Delhiites have proved that in the face of extreme violence and hatred, kindness finds a way, with instances of Gurudwaras offering shelter to Muslim families and Hindu-Muslim unity rallies being organised to restore peace.
On February 25, a religious structure in Ashok Nagar was set on fire by a mob. The next day, people, both Hindus and Muslims, were spotted collecting burnt pages of a holy book in a video that has gone viral on social media.
A peace march was also organised in Shashtri Park, while another Hindu-Muslim unity rally was held in Brij Puri, as tweeted by AAP's social media leader, Ankit Lal. "At one end there are those propagating violence, at the other end there are those propagating Hindu-Muslim unity in riot affected areas of North-East Delhi," Lal said.
दिल्ली का एक पहलू ये भी है...... दिल्ली के ब्रिजपुरी इलाके में एकता मार्च निकाल रहे हैं वहॉं के हिंदू मुसलमान एैसी ख़बरें ज्यादा से ज्यादा शेयर करिये.....नफ़रत जल्दी ही हारेगी#DelhiViolence pic.twitter.com/yRmcF0XfXU — Imran Pratapgarhi (@ShayarImran) February 25, 2020
Gurdwaras in North East Delhi, including that in Majnoo Ka Tila, also stayed open and allowed Muslims to take shelter from mobs as violence continued raging in the national capital.
Gurudwaras in North Delhi including in Majnoo ka Tila will look after people who need help tonight, Delhi GPC leaders said. People in North and Northeast Delhi please be informed . . — Kallol Bhattacherjee (@janusmyth) February 24, 2020
A Gurdwara has given shelter to Muslim families fleeing Hindutva mob in NE Delhi. (Not giving exact location as it may endanger Sikhs as well. Will inform over DM if people may need to go there)#DelhiBurning — Aditya Menon (@AdityaMenon22) February 25, 2020
In one part of Delhi, a gurdwara opens its doors to Muslims and anyone who needs shelter. In Seelampur, Dalits blocked the roads against mobs, sheltered their Muslim neighbours. Police and politicians have forgotten their duty; but the people have courage and heart.#DelhiRiots — Nilanjana Roy (@nilanjanaroy) February 25, 2020
A video that went viral on Twitter showed that the locals in Yamuna Vihar in northeast Delhi made a human chain to escort schoolchildren to safety as violence over CAA protests continued in the district on Tuesday.
WATCH : Video from Yamuna vihar Men forming a human chain to safely escort school girls to safe place! No Police, No Force to Save them, they are on their own now.#GenocideInDelhi #DelhiBurning #DelhiPolice #DelhiRiots #DelhiViolence pic.twitter.com/0cKXGaTEsJ — CAA / NRC Protest Info. (@NrcProtest) February 25, 2020
As tweeted by a News18 reporter, Hindu residents in Ramesh Park came out in large numbers to aid their Muslim neighbours, and assured them that they would stand by them and defend them, should the violence reach their locality.
There were rumours of disturbances in Ramesh Park's Gali No. 10 and local Muslims came out in panic. Hindus & Sikhs assured them that they would stand with them if goons tried to create trouble. Things have calmed down. These heartening stories must be told. Ramesh Park Zindabad. — Uday Singh Rana (@UdaySRana) February 25, 2020
Several tweets and posts on Facebook also called for volunteers, doctors, journalists, lawyers or people willing to help those escaping from aggressors commute to safer locations, to sign up on Google Docs with their contact numbers.
ATTENTION : Call for Volunteers Doctors, Lawyers, Journalists or anyone who wants to help can fill this form. Spread this widely#GenocideInDelhi #DelhiRiots #DelhiRiots2020 #DelhiViolence #DelhiBurns #DelhiBurning #DelhiPolice https://t.co/l3Olph4KJI — CAA / NRC Protest Info. (@NrcProtest) February 26, 2020