‘His five daughters and son won’t see him ever again” — this was what the early morning telephone call to 52-year-old Riyaz Hussain’s usually quiet home in Baghpat stated. The 7am call had bluntly tried to make his family of 11 aware that their sole, khaki-clad, earning member had fallen forever to someone else’s (misplaced) rage.
“I was getting ready to go to my office when I got a call from our ancestral house in Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh. The next hour, in which the entire family reached my small house in Shahdara, was very difficult,” said Abid Hussain, Riyaz’s younger brother.
An hour earlier, Riyaz had been struggling to breathe as Dhanpat, a catering manager with Northern Railways, assaulted him mercilessly at the New Delhi Railway Station. The reason: He had been asked to use an elevated ramp to cross from one platform to the other like everybody else.
Dhanpat, however, pleaded innocence and blamed Riyaz for his own death. He, however, was sentenced to a week’s judicial custody by the Tis Hazari court.
“There was a lot of food and I had no other alternative but to cross tracks. I showed him my ID card and told him that I was the catering manager but despite that, he grabbed my jacket and started pushing me and tripped. I didn't use any force at all — he died after slipping down the elevated ramp,” Dhanpat said.
Hours later, Vasihan, Riyaz’s widow, was waiting in the family car and praying that everything would turn out fine. “We didn’t know how she would react. We just told her that he had had an accident and was in surgery,” Abid, who runs a transportation business, said.
She broke down when her husband’s shrouded body was loaded on to a hearse for burial.