Late in the morning on 25 February, in street number 17 of Delhi’s New Mustafabad, a group of women and men had gathered under a cloth canopy. They were in mourning. Shahid Alvi, a 23-year-old resident of the nearby house number 1715, was shot dead the previous day, in the violence that engulfed northeast Delhi.
An auto driver by profession, Alvi was returning home after offering duas—prayers—at a nearby dargah, when he was shot in the stomach twice, at around 3 or 4 pm. The shooting took place near the Mohan Nursing Home on the Wazirabad Road, the main thoroughfare that divides the predominantly Muslim localities of Chand Bagh and Mustafabad from the Hindu-majority neighbourhood of Yamuna Vihar. It is unclear whether Alvi died on the spot, but according to his family, two strangers took his body to the nearby Madina Charitable Clinic. “I was at home yesterday and my brother was coming from the dargah,” Shahid’s brother Irfan said. “When he reached Bhajanpura”—referring to the area near Wazirabad road— “rioters shot him in the stomach. He was on the road. Some Muslims took him to a private nursing home. He was declared brought dead.” Irfan added, “We don’t know exactly when he died, but I suspect he passed away immediately after being shot.”
By then, pictures of Alvi’s bloodied body had begun circulating on social media. In one image, which did not identify him by name, Shahid can be seen bleeding profusely from his side, as some people appear to be taking him down a step ladder. His sister, Sitara, came to know of her brother’s injury through these images. “We had no idea that Shahid had been shot till I saw his pictures on WhatsApp. I rushed to Madina Clinic and brought the body home,” Sitara told me. She reached home with the body at around 7 pm. Soon after, Irfan took the body to the Guru Tegh Bahadur hospital, in the nearby Dilshad Garden area, for a post-mortem.
Violence erupted in northeast Delhi, where protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act had been taking place, on 23 February. That afternoon, a mob of people supporting the CAA—predominantly Hindu men, chanting slogans such as “Jai Shri Ram”—arrived in the Jaffrabad-Maujpur area. The mob and protestors against the CAA reportedly pelted stones at each other. The violence escalated the next day, spreading to surrounding localities such as Chand Bagh, Yamuna Vihar and Bhajanpura—according to eyewitnesses, the Hindu mob attacked passers-by, and set cars, shops and buildings on fire, with support from the police. At the time of publishing, at least eleven people injured in the violence had been declared dead. Several families told The Hindu that their relatives had died due to bullet injuries.