After Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards on 31 October, 1984, riots broke out in different parts of Delhi and the city witnessed a violent bloodbath. At least 2,000 people belonging to the Sikh community lost their lives. Members of the ruling Congress party were accused of having orchestrated the riots, often in collusion with the local police, and the city was aflame.
Sajid Raza Khan, who worked as a Civil Engineer with the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) at the time and was an amateur photographer, picked up his camera and wandered about the city's streets shooting grim scenes of rioting. After he retired from his job in February 2015, Khan decided to revisit the sites of arson and killings and take pictures again.
The result is an album where he has juxtaposed the riot scenes along with the mundane 30 years later.
Speaking to HuffPost India, Khan said that at the time he hadn't realized that things would take such a murderous turn on the streets. "When I was clicking the pictures, people were chasing me and yelling at me because I had a camera," he recalled. "I had to run. I saw people laughing while beating up people and burning properties. It was horrific."
"When the photographs were taken, I sent the reels to Australia because those would not have been developed in India," Khan added. "It took two months to reach back. By that time, the situation was calmer and I was worried about my government job also. So, I just let it be. But when I retired last year in January, I decided to revisit all the sites because I did not have the fear for my job. It took me two and half months to find all the places. It was a painful experience. I am unable to believe how cruel and heartless people can get."
He shared his photographs on Facebook.