Starting Sunday, several neighborhoods in north-east Delhi have witnessed extreme violence and destruction to life and property as communally charged supporters of the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 clashed with anti-CAA protesters.
One such hostile situation unfolded in Mustafabad, a Muslim majority neighborhood that saw persistent violence for 72 hours.
As rioters took to streets in massive numbers, the situation got tense in several areas like Jaffrabad, Maujpur, Chand Bag, Badarpur and other locations around north-east Delhi which has a sizeable Muslim population. Taking a look at AAP leader Haji Mohd Yunus's Twitter handle reveals the ordeal that the leader, who won the Mustafabad seat after beating BJP’s Jagdish Pradhan earlier in the month, and locals went through, even as "government officials" did not provide the assistance that was sought.
Taking to social media, Yunus began tweeting appeals to all and sundry since January 24, Tuesday, for assistance. "There is an environment of terror on on all four sides of Mustafabad, rioters are firing and torching things as they roam. But no police force. I have constantly tried to speak to police officers but police cannot control the rioters. I request the Lieutenant Governor and home Minister to send police force here", he tweeted.
This was the first tweet posted on Monday and the AAP leader tagged AAP's official handle as well as CM Arvind Kejriwal, LG Delhi. Delhi Police and Amit Shah. Yunus retweeted the post several times and wrote new updates regarding the ongoing violence in Mustafabad, a Muslim-majority neighborhood but to no avail.
मैं माननीय @LtGovDelhi साहब और हमारे गृहमंत्री @AmitShah जी से आग्रह करूँगा तुरंत मुस्तफाबाद में पुलिस फ़ोर्स भेजे ! @DelhiPolice फ़ोर्स की बहुत ज्यादा जरुरत है इन इलाकों में ..यहाँ दहशत का माहौल है. @ArvindKejriwal @msisodia #Delhipi https://t.co/2JD88bcLqY— Haji Mohd Yunus AAP (@hajimyunus) February 24, 2020
On February 25, Yunus again posted an update. "The condition in Mustafabad constiuency is extremely bad. I have been unable to go and attend Arvind Kejriwal's press conference, government officials are not answering the phone, not talking to me. Rioters are torching homes in Chand Nagarm, the situation is very tense. People are very angry". He again appealed to the LG, Home Minister and Delhi government to send a larger police force to these areas.
मैं माननीय @LtGovDelhi साहब और हमारे गृहमंत्री @AmitShah जी से आग्रह करूँगा तुरंत मुस्तफाबाद और आस पास के इलाकों में ज्यादा से ज्यादा पुलिस फ़ोर्स भेजे ! @DelhiPolice फ़ोर्स की बहुत ज्यादा जरुरत है इन इलाकों में .यहाँ दहशत का माहौल है. @ArvindKejriwal @msisodia अफवाहों से बचें https://t.co/rUYbOYoluV— Haji Mohd Yunus AAP (@hajimyunus) February 25, 2020
मुस्तफाबाद विधानसभा के लोग पूरी तरह बेबस लाचार फँसे हुए हैं,यहाँ के लोगों को मदद की सबसे सख़्त जरूरत है,ऐसे ही चलता रहा तो यहाँ कुछ नहीं बचेगा,पूरी तरह बर्बाद हो जाएगा,यहाँ पुलिस से ज्यादा सेना की जरूरत है,श्रीमान @LtGovDelhi व @AmitShah जी कुछ करिये @ArvindKejriwal @vinodkapri https://t.co/vg2BgL2fjn— Haji Mohd Yunus AAP (@hajimyunus) February 25, 2020
And yet no response.
Yunus also made appeals to Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain and Mohalla Clinic's Shaleen Mitra for medical aid. He said that several locals had been severely injured after repeated attacks by rioters and that ambulances were refusing to come due to persistent violence. He also said that the people of Mustafabad were helpless and scared and that only sending the army in could get the situation under control. He even warned that if no help came, nothing and no one would be left in Mustafabad.
.@SatyendarJain @ShaleenMitra मुस्तफाबाद विधानसभा : इमरजेंसी मेडिकल हेल्प चाहिए,कई लोगों की जान चुकी है,बहुत सारे बुरी तरह घायल हैं जिनकी जान जोखिम में हैं,घायलों को GTB रैफर किया जा रहा है लेकिन इलाके में तनाव व गोलियां चलनेके कारण एम्बुलेंस आने को तैयार नहीं.@ArvindKejriwal https://t.co/5cgAkvLV3N— Haji Mohd Yunus AAP (@hajimyunus) February 25, 2020
मुस्तफाबाद विधानसभा में रास्ते में तनाव होने के कारण एम्बुलेंस नहीं आ पा रही है, घायलों की जान जोखिम में हैं @LtGovDelhi व @AmitShah से अनुरोध है अतिरिक्त सैनिक बल भेजें, इलाके की स्थिति बहुत खराब है @dtptraffic से अनुरोध है रास्ता खुलवाए @ShaleenMitra @ndtvindia @vinodkapri https://t.co/Lc1UOHP7VV— Haji Mohd Yunus AAP (@hajimyunus) February 25, 2020
Late Tuesday night, a seemingly helpless Yunus stopped making appeals to Kejriwal and AAP entirely and instead focused on requesting the central government for assistance. "The condition in Mustafabad is becoming extremely scary with time especially in areas like Shiv Vihar. No police force. Entire Mustafabd is on the verge of destruction. Shots are being fired. People are dyig, houses are being burnt".
मुस्तफाबाद विधानसभा में स्थिति भयानक होती जा रही है सबसे संवेदनशील शिव विहार तिराहा,कोई फोर्स नहीं ,पूरा मुस्तफाबाद बर्बाद होने की कगार पर है गोलियां चल रही हैं,लोग मर रहे हैं माकन जलाये जा रहे हैं @LtGovDelhi @AmitShah @PMOIndia जी से विनती जल्दी सेना भेजो लोगों को बचाओ.. https://t.co/5cgAkvLV3N— Haji Mohd Yunus AAP (@hajimyunus) February 25, 2020
Finally, AAP leader Sanjay Singh retweeted Yunus's appeal and asked Delhi Police to look into the matter.
A few hours later, AAP tweeted that ambulances were on their way to Al hind hospital in Mustafabad where several injured people were awaiting medical assistance.
Delhi Govt's ambulances will be reaching shortly at Al-Hind hospital in Mustafabad where many injured patients are waiting to be shifted to other hospitals. @hajimyunus and @ShaleenMitra struggled a lot so that the ambulances could reach to the injured victims. https://t.co/FP0vRSRibS— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) February 25, 2020
The situation, however, seems to have not improved even on Wednesday even when National Security Advisor Ajit Doval himself took to the riot-affected streets in Jaffrabad to assure locals of safety. Taking to Twitter on Wednesday morning, Yunus wrote that though army was present in some parts of Mustafabad, many areas cotinued to remain unguarded where residents ares till stuck at homes due to tense situations outside. The AAP leader once again requested Amit Shah and Prime Minister's office.
By Wednesday afternoon, Yunus again posted that violence had broken out in Dayalpuur and Shakti Vihar areas of the constituency.
मुस्तफाबाद विधानसभा में दयालपुर और शक्ति विहार इलाके में फिर दंगा शुरू, केंद्र सरकार इसको रोकने में तुरंत ठोस कदम उठाए,ज्यादा से ज्यादा सेना भेजी जाए, सेना भेज कर यहाँ कर्फ़्यू लगाया जाये मुस्तफाबाद विधानसभा के हालात बहुत भयानक है @PMOIndia @HMOIndia @LtGovDelhi @vinodkapri https://t.co/EZHihGP8VF— Haji Mohd Yunus AAP (@hajimyunus) February 26, 2020
Despite repeated appeals on Twitter, it seems the government as well as security agencies have been unable to contain the situation in Mustafabad, which saw one of the worst cases of violence. According to a report in Scroll, a mosque and school were torched in the area and a protest site was vandalised. According to Yunus, 10-11 people lost their lives in the violence.
According to a report in The Wire, masked rioters armed with metal rods, pistols, molotov cocktails and stones arrived on Fberuary 25 and set fire to slums across Mustafabad. The report mentioned that children had also been attacked.
News18 tried to get in touch with the MLA but has not received a response yet.
Meanwhile, Doval who was on a "peace march" three days after the violence started said that the situation in the riot-hit northeast Delhi "is under control". He held a meeting with senior officials of the Delhi Police and visited some of the affected areas on Wednesday afternoon.
Doval, promising to restore normalcy, told a student, "I give you my word, everything will be fine." Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Mandeep Singh Randhawa, newly appointed special CP SN Shrivastava, Special CP (Law and Order) Satisha Golcha and DCP of northeast Delhi Ved Prakash Arya were among those present in the meeting that lasted just over 30 minutes.