Iron gates are coming up in riot-hit Northeast Delhi as communities—both Hindus and Muslims—try to ring-fence their localities from potential intruders and rioters in the future. Gated colonies exist in Delhi but such community-specific ‘ghettos’ are, perhaps, a first in the national capital, an indication of the fear that has become part of the lives of the riot-scarred people. People who had fled their homes are returning to their residences, trying to pick up their lives from the rubble of burnt out houses and shops, destroyed by armed mobs last month in one of the worst communal conflagrations in Delhi in recent times. More than 50 people were killed in the riots. Besides riot-hit Maujpur and Karawal Nagar, such gates have also come up in Seelampur, which escaped the riots. Residents say they are afraid of a rerun...don’t want to leave anything to chance.
Text and photographs Jitender Gupta