Young Hindus or Muslims? Kolkata escape the mafia by pure luck | Kolkata News
It was pure luck that another person returned their car key. “Bhago!” He told them. They did it.
The duo, businessmen who are childhood friends, were returning to Delhi after a holiday in Uttarakhand, when they were caught by the violence of the Mafia near the UP-Delhi border on Monday night. For a few minutes, they looked death in the face. They managed to escape, but the memory of what happened, and what almost happened, is scary.
“It was like the WhatsApp forwarding we received … but it was terribly real”
My friend Kalim Ahmed of Darga Road and I had embarked on a trip to Nag Tibba in front of Musoorie and we were going to return to Delhi on Tuesday, ”says Yousuf Anis, 34, a resident of Topsia near Park Circus. “But Kalim felt bad on Sunday and we decided to return the next day. There was a poor cellular network in the hills, so we had no idea of the community crisis in Delhi, ”he said.
Once the Internet was available, they activated Google Maps and headed for Mangolpuri in northwestern Delhi. The application took them to G P Canal Road through Uttar Pradesh. They made good progress and arrived on the outskirts of Delhi at 6.30 p.m. Seeing the hoarding of “Welcome to Delhi,” Kalim slowed down. A little further on, 500 meters from the Delhi-UP border, there was a crowd in the middle of the road. Beyond them, a column of black smoke rose from a building.
“I thought a house had burned down and the road had been blocked to allow rescue and firefighting. A man asked us to make a change of direction, which we did. While we were going in the opposite direction, voice-based navigation urged us to take a U-turn and return. I saw a lane just ahead and turned to take it. But a dozen young people blocked the road. What happened next is chilling. I still can’t believe we’re alive, “Kalim said.
When Kalim lowered the window to say they were going to Delhi, one of the mafia asked them if they were Hindus or Muslims. Yousuf said: “We are Muslims. What does that have to do with something? What happened next was horrible. The young man who had asked the question took out the car keys, while others tried to open the closed doors. When Yousuf and Kalim cringed in fear, an iron bar shattered the windshield. Several began hitting the car, shouting invective.
“I have never found such a visceral hatred,” Yousuf said. “Then I realized that we were about to die, and I began to pray in silence,” he added, with the horror still palpable on his face. Just when everything seemed lost, a man in his 40s snatched the keys from the young man and threw him into the car. “Bhago! (Run), ”he told them. Kalim, with trembling hands, turned on the ignition and squeezed the accelerator.
“I didn’t know where we were going. I just wanted to get to a safe place. While I was taking turns, I was afraid we were going around in circles and could land in the same place we were running from. But that didn’t happen. We took the Western peripheral highway, which we took to Delhi through Haryana. We arrived at the hotel in Mangolpuri at half past nine at night, ”Kalim said.
“I felt so shocked that I didn’t even call home until I arrived at the airport the next day. I realized how close we had been to death. I broke when I got home around 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday,” Younus said.
“It was like going through videos forwarded on WhatsApp, which you thought were fake, and then realizing that it was terribly real,” Kalim said.