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Small girl, victim of riots

Muzaffarnagar is in the news because people there are killing one another. You may have caught the headlines and the analyses. Did you catch the fear? The fear of having to live in the middle of the killings, the fires and the hatred? I did. It was another year, 1992. It was another place, Jogeshwari, a suburb of Mumbai. The fear is always the same. It doesn’t age. It doesn’t let go.

My son carefully kissed his brother through his mother’s bulging tummy as she was about to step out to catch her train to work. Right then, the people who had set fire to the timber mart next door, walked past our window, carrying large stones and sticks and petrol-filled bottles, shouting how they enjoyed setting shops on fire. Our days of riots had just begun.

From our first-floor window, we called out to the security guard of our building to close…

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