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This Thursday, Rajesh Kumar, a property dealer in the riot-hit Trilokpuri sat on a charpoy placed outside his shop and did what he has been doing ever since communal violence broke out in the locality in October – stare at passersby.

“We used to get 30-40 people every month, some in search of a rented accommodation while others wanted to buy a flat in the area. Last month we got two people,” Kumar tells Metrolife.

Kumar said that the rates of the flats have dipped drastically after the communal clashes between members of the two religious communities. “A flat which could have been sold at a price of Rs 22-25 lakh is only fetching something between Rs 18-20 lakh.

That is if we get buyers. People have stopped renting out places here, let only buying. Many others have sold their flats and shifted to different parts of Delhi,” the 47-year-old said.

Another property dealer, Ra­­jiv Malhotra, says that even if no lives were lost in the riots, the effects bear a striking resemblance to the pe­­riod after the anti-Sikh riots in 1984.

“We were children during the anti-Sikh riots and I reme­mber that when all the viole­nce was over we thought that it would be normal. Now as adults we have come to realise that the violence that starts in riots never ends,” said Malhotra (37).

According to him, while peace has returned to the area, people are slowly realising how the riots have affected their lives. He says that the aftermaths of riots are no less than a ‘surprise’. “There are things which we are facing that we couldn’t dream about in our wildest imaginations,” Malhotra added refusing to divulge further.

There are many others like Malhotra and Kumar who now seem to introspect owing to the ‘things’ they claim to have witnessed after the rest­oration of law and order.

Yasmeen (name changed), claims the riots took a toll on a couple of marriages. According to her, she knows of at lea­st two grooms whose marria­ges got cancelled.

“The bride’s family demanded that the newly-wed must move out of Trilokpuri after the marriage takes place. The groom’s family didn’t comply and things fell apart,” she said.

If the situation for the ‘to be married’ is not pleasant, how can the children of this east De­lhi locality remain immune to the polarisation that still continues tooverwhelm Trilo­kpuri. In the first week of December, two students of a government school in Trilokpuri were allegedly asked about their religion before being beaten up by fellow students.

The school principal belie­ves that while school does ha­ve major role to play in a chi­ld’s development, without pa­­r­ents ‘cooperation’, teache­rs are rendered helpless. “So­m­e parents irresponsibly disc­uss issues of communal hat­red in front of their children.

The child learns from home and acts it out in schools,” said AK Gupta. He however claim­ed that there are no signs of polarisation in his school. “Th­ere are some mischievous eleme­nts that provoke students. Mo­stly people are unemplo­y­ed youth who have nothing be­t­t­er to do,” Gupta said while personnel of the Central Rese­rved Police stand guard at the gates of the school.

When asked what the scho­ol plans to do in order to navigate the students through a vo­latile environ, Gupta res­po­­­nded, “We tell them how imp­ortant it is to love and respect everyone. We also pray in the morning. Students sing the Na­tional Anthem and Vande Mataram.”

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