Saviours Branded as Rioters: Muslim Men Guarding Temple Arrested over Delhi Violence


The temple Muslim men was guarding

Mohd Aasif | Clarion India

NEW DELHI — The pogrom of North-East Delhi has turned the life of Muslims
there upside down. It’s not that they have lost much, but the attitude, orientation and working style of Delhi Police are rubbing salt to their wounds. People are being picked up randomly. No paperwork, no evidence, no warrant. Cops are abducting Muslims now and then. Ironically, the victims are being projected as the main culprits.

During the pogrom against Muslims, who formed a part of the targeted section, many of them were working hard to reduce the chances of riots in their areas.

Habib Raza and Usman Saifi are among them. Both, along with other people of the neighbourhood, were guarding the Ram Mandir of Nehru Vihar, Mustafabad, situated in Street 18. After a fortnight of the incidents, the crime branch of Delhi Police allegedly abducted Habib Raza and Usman Saifi from the Ram Mandir’s proximity, on the second Sunday of this month during midnight.

Wife of Habib Raza, Razina Begum told Clarion India that he went out after dinner to guard the temple as usual and later she heard from her neighbours that her husband was dramatically abducted by cops. They were told that they were taking them to the Dayalpur police station. Several people from the neighbourhood rushed to the station but they were not told anything.

It was quarter to one when Habib Raza and Usman Saifi were pushed into the police van. “He was captured at gunpoint,” said one of the neighbours of Usman Saifi.

“Cops laid both of them on the floor of the vehicle to avoid public display,” said Nazia Saifi, daughter of Usman Saifi.

Police prosecutor Gaurav, who was reluctant giving out his full name, said that both the accused were charged with rioting, arson and murder. The prosecutor is unaware of any complaints against Raza and Saifi. “I don’t know”, he said when asked for the source and basis of their arrests.


No notice or warrant was served on them. “He was in the house when he heard Habib Saab calling his (Usman’s) name and saying ‘cops are taking me away’. The moment Usman stepped outside of the house, cops nabbed him too (woh to ghar me hi the jab unhone Habib saab ki awaaz suni ki Usman bhai yeh mujhe le ja rahe hain to woh jaise hi baahar nikle to police ne unhe bhi utha liya) ”, said Tajwar Saifi, wife of Usman Saifi with a sore throat and swollen eyes due to continuous sobbing.

The house of Usman Saifi was swarmed by women to console his wife and daughter. Saifi and Raza are the only breadwinners of their families.

Unlike other pogrom-hit areas, the Kanchan Garment shop, a shop in the building of the temple and the temple itself were intact. Rinku, shopkeeper in temple, told Clarion India that he was not worried about his shop during the riots. He knew that the Muslims in the neighbourhood would not let anybody do any harm. “We live in harmony and nobody would do such a thing to us here”, he added.

The people in the neighbourhood testify to their good and friendly behavior.

The member of Ram Mandir Committee has also given a letter to the magistrate through Usman’s lawyer for his release. The two of them were presented in the Karkardooma court and sent to judicial custody where they are waiting for their next hearing.


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