‘I feared my shop could be ransacked or looted’ | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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‘I feared my shop could be ransacked or looted’

mumbai Updated: Nov 04, 2011 13:47 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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“The group came out of the restaurant after the India-England cricket match was over. They asked for meetha paan and some cigarettes. After a while, they got into a fight with a boy who appeared to be drunk.”

“The man was slapped and reprimanded by the group for passing lewd comments at the girls.”

“The man then left the place, promising to come back and teach the boys a lesson. The boys and girls ignored the threats and stood there, chatting.”

“After a while, I went to a roadside ice-cream stall, where I stood talking to the vendor.”

“As I spoke to him, I saw a bunch of men, armed with sticks and bamboos, attacking the group of boys and girls.”

“I ran to my shop and began packing up my articles in order to close the shop. I feared my shop could be ransacked or looted in the riot. After pulling the shutter, when I turned around, I saw people put the two injured boys in autorickshaws.”

“I don't know what transpired between the group and the boys before the attack. I only witnessed the earlier tiff.”
(As told to Debasish Panigrahi)

‘Not cowards, we did what we could’
“We are not the cowards we have been made out to be. We did whatever we could. It all happened so quickly that there was hardly any time to react.”

“It was a weekday (Thursday) and so there were around five to six staff members present in the restaurant. I was at the bar counter. A group of four boys and three girls were watching the India-England one-day match and left the restaurant after paying the food bill.”

“After a while, I heard a loud noise coming from outside. When I went out, I saw a group of 20-25 boys, all armed with bamboos and sticks, attacking the group that had left our restaurant.”

“I asked the waiters to bring the three girls in the group. The attackers quickly dispersed. I had dialled 100 by then. I ran to the footpath and lifted Keenan Sentos first who was lying in a pool of blood.”

One of my waiters stopped a rickshaw and I sent Keenan to Kokilaben Ambani Hospital along with him. Then I sent an injured Reuben Fernandes to the Cooper Hospital in an autorickshaw with another waiter. In my opinion, the boys should have run to safety instead of confronting the armed group.”
(As told to Debasish Panigrahi)