Sikh Man Helps Protect Muslims in Delhi

Mohinder Singh a Sikh hero, took exceptional steps to ensure the safety of residents in one of the worst-hit neighbourhoods in the Delhi Riots.

On 24 February, as there was a lot of violence between Hindus & Muslim in Delhi. Two Sardars Mohinder Singh (53) and his son Inderjit Singh used a Bullet motorcycle and scooty to transport somewhere between 60 to 80 of their Muslim neighbours to a safe location.The father and son duo say they had sensed the situation was spiralling out of control in the Hindu-dominated neighbourhood of Gokalpuri in northeast Delhi. At 5 in the evening, people chanting Jai Shri Ram, "Desh ke gaddaro ko, goli maro saal*n ko," and raising slogans in praise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Muslims of Gokalpuri panicked and gathered at their local mosque. After the meeting, the Muslims decided they would leave immediately. But Muslims of Gokalpuri were terrified they would not be able to make it past Hindu mob that had gathered at the main road outside the locality.  Mohinder Singh the offered to help and started moving his neighbours in batches to the nearest Muslim locality of Kardampuri, one kilometer away.Mohinder Singh, said that his son was on the Bullet motorcycle and he was on the scooty, and they made around 20 trips each from Gokalpuri to Kardampuri in one hour. When it was women and children, they took three to four of them at a time. When it was men and boys, they took two or three at a time. For some of the boys, they tied Sikh turbans to conceal they were Muslim. 

“I did not see Hindu or Muslim,” said Singh, “I just saw people. I saw little children. I felt like they were my children and that nothing should happen to them. We did this because we all should act humanely and help those in need. What more can I say?” he said. Gokalpuri saw some of the worst violence in the three days of rioting, which has left almost 40 people dead. Head constable Ratan Lal died of a bullet injury that he sustained here. Muslim shops, houses and a mosque were burnt and looted here. The Muslims who ran away are yet to return.Mohinder Singh said that these riots reminded him of the 1984 Anti-Sikh riots, when Sikhs were targetted because of the assassination of Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards.