Families of those who lost their lives in the communal violence in north-east Delhi struggle to pick up the shattered pieces of their lives and livelihoods

#NEW DELHI

Mudassir Khan’s family had been coming to the mortuary at GTB hospital since Tuesday. On Thursday too, they were there at 8 am sharp.

“Yesterday, the in-charge IO said that files were ready, and the post-mortem would be conducted today,” his nephew Arbaaz Khan says as they are told that they can take Mudassir’s body home.

Mudassir’s father breaks down over his body before the final rites

Like Mudassir’s, several more families line up outside the GTB mortuary every day to take the mortal remains of their loved ones home even as they try to come to terms with the loss.

There is separate section where family and friends of people missing since the violence broke out on Sunday desperately scan lists of the deceased and those being treated at the hospital for information.

Some of them claim that neither police nor the hospital authorities are telling them exactly when will the postmortem be conducted.

“No one is able to sleep peacefully. There is still fear. Children are not going to school, everyone is preferring to stay indoors and we are not even using our vehicles to commute. We are in shock over what happened in the last three days,” Khan said.

Kin of Mohsin Ali after receiving his body outside the mortuary of GTB Hospital

Mudassir was outside his house in Kardampuri on Monday when he was attacked by a mob, his family said. He sustained bullet injury on his head and was declared brought dead by doctors at GTB hospital.

Relatives including the mother of 22-year-old Shahbaz, who has been missing since Tuesday, wait anxiously outside the mortuary at GTB hospital to know if their son is even alive.

“Around 2 pm, he had gone to Karawal Nagar for treatment. He had suffered injury in his eyes while he was doing some welding work. When I called him around 3 pm, his phone was switched off,” his mother said.

Shahbaz and his family live in Loni and worked in a welding shop.

Thirty-five-year-old Musharraf’s family has been coming to the hospital for two days. “I have been narrating the stories of what happened with my husband to everyone here but no one is telling us when will the post-mortem be finally conducted,” says Mallika, his wife.

Mallika, wife of Musharraf, 33, wails as she waits for the hospital to release his body

Musharraf is survived by Mallika and their three children.

Recalling the horror, Musharraf’s wife says “a group of people barged inside our house and thrashed my husband brutally. They dragged him out of our house and kept beating him.”

Schools: The other big casualty

Charred remains of a school in Brijpuri

“Welcome to a very happy school” reads a half-charred board at a private school in Brijpuri area of North East Delhi which is now home to broken desks and burnt books after it was vandalised during the violence.

Arun Modern Senior Secondary School, which is over 32 years old, looks no less than a cemetery, say officials, who claim the damage is estimated to be over Rs 70 lakh.

School principal Jyoti Rani says, “Our security guard was there on Tuesday evening when a mob entered the premises. Only two days later, we could gather the courage to go to the school and all I could see was vandalised desks, burnt books and a mess everywhere. It looks no less than a cemetery,” she added.

At Rajdhani Public School in Shiv Vihar, few student bags, crayons strewn over, half-burnt models from a recently held exhibition and cut outs from the Republic Day celebrations last month, are among the remains while the entire library has been burnt.

Schools have been closed in northeast Delhi for three days, while the CBSE has postponed board exams in the area scheduled till February 29. AGENCIES

Rahul Solanki’s family is inconsolable at his funeral

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