New Delhi: With a frenzied mob hurling petrol bombs and rocks outside their door in Yamuna Vihar, the Goyal family filled up even their washing machine with water to be prepared for any eventuality as their house temporarily became a refuge for some of their neighbours. The Goyals are one of the several families in C-12 block of Yamuna Vihar which came under attack from a mob on Tuesday, with locals saying it had become "a question of survival" for them as their multiple calls to emergency police number 100 fetched no help.
"We bolted the main metal door from inside and shut all doors and windows. We reached the second floor of our house and tried to see through the balcony as scores of people hurled petrol bombs and vandalised houses," Suman Goyal told PTI. The family's is the first house if one enters C-12 block, barely 50 metres from the main Maujpur road, next to a DDA park. She said the children in the house were terrified and it was equally difficult to manage their parents, both in 80s.
The woman said she saw an unidentified man bleeding profusely right outside her door, an experience that "shook and numbed" her. She initially thought it was a gunshot injury but locals said he was stabbed. "I called at least 10 times on 100 number but no help came I was just hoping it gets over soon," Goyal said.
Rajesh Goyal, her husband, said his family, like several others in the area, spent a sleepless night. The first thing he did on Wednesday, when situation seemed slightly better, was to send their daughter and parents to a safer location, he said.
"I sent them to my sister's place in Rohini. I cannot take a risk. Yesterday, with the mobs around my house, it was only a question of survival for us," he told PTI.
His younger brother, Mukesh Goyal, said he was on the top floor of the building keeping a watch outside, while some people from the neighbourhood took refuge in their home as violence unleashed in the area.
"There were around 14 people in our house. I kept looking from the top floor to see if they were going to hurl petrol bombs inside. The crowd appeared blood-thirsty," Mukesh said, and shared a video he captured from the fourth floor which purportedly showed mobs putting on fire at least five vehicles parked near their house.
The charred remains of the vehicles owned by Yamuna Vihar locals were found in the parking zone on Wednesday with empty Molotov cocktails (petrol bombs) inside some, while glass shards and brick pieces lay on the street.
Suman said the family had filled up buckets of waters and used all available vessels to store water to deal with a fire situation, if it happened. "I had even filled up the washing machine with water," she said.
Lawyer Amit Tanwar, who lives in the same colony, said his home and office were also attacked by the mob, while a restaurant on the ground floor of an adjoining building was also damaged. "I got minor injuries. I have assessed damage worth around Rs 50,000 so far. I am considering moving court for compensation. But I am relieved that it was only property that got damaged and my family and I are safe," Tanwar said.
Another neighbour, Awadhesh Sharma, who witnessed the violence said he was felt fortunate that no people were harmed. "Nothing is more precious than life. God willing, we survived and hope the situation normalises soon," he said.
At least 27 people lost their lives and more than 200 were injured in the violence that unfolded in Maujpur, Jafrabad, Babarpur, Yamuna Vihar, Shiv Vihar, Bhajanpura, Chand Bagh, Ghonda, among other residential pockets in northeast Delhi.
A brittle quiet settled over parts on Wednesday as police and paramilitary personnel in large numbers descended on the roads of the riot-hit areas, keeping mobs away. The Delhi Police said they have registered 18 FIRs and arrested 106 people for their alleged involvement in the violence so far.