This is the fifth part of a series on a civil society report about the Delhi riots in February put together by a team of about 30 young people who answered the Karwan-e-Mohabbat’s call for volunteers to run a rescue helpline.

Intensely worrying news of outbreaks of communal violence in North East Delhi started pouring in from the evening of February 23. By the morning of February 24, we began to receive desperate phone calls and text messages of people trapped in the violence. Like many peace-loving people in the city of Delhi, I spent the whole morning feeling restless and helpless as we got messages from friends and colleagues about the worsening situation in the area and the lack of police response. By in the middle of the afternoon of February 24, I could not bear it any more.

My very young lawyer colleagues made a brave and idealistic decision to go to North East Delhi. My colleagues came back scarred with images of a targeted violence that they will never forget. It was the first communal violence episode that they had seen in their lives. I had seen riots as a young child with my father in the districts of Madhya Pradesh,...

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