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Saturday, 21 July 2012

A Night to Remember

It was around a quarter to twelve last Friday night. My dad was returning home by metro and had asked me to pick him up from the Huda City Centre Metro Station. It wasn't the first time I had picked him up like this, even at this odd hour. I was waiting for him on the other side of the road, right in front of the temple.

Looking behind me, I noticed the Police check post, just a few metres away and wondered what the policemen inside might be up to. However, not much was visible as most of the street lamps were either switched off or not functioning.

Checking the time, I realized it was almost midnight so I called up my dad to find out how much longer he would take. He mentioned that he has already gotten off the train which had just arrived and would take just a few minutes more to reach where I was standing when two guys whom I'd never seen before pulled up on a bike next to me.
At first, being on a call, I didn't realize that they were talking to me. Suddenly, without warning, the one riding pillion shoved me back, catching me completely off guard. Before I could even ask him what happened or what it was he wanted, he got off the bike and I noticed for the first time that he was holding a thick wooden 'lathi', the kind carried around by guards and beat cops. Without a word, he swung the lathi over his head and hit me on my right shoulder. Before I could back off, or even put up my guard, he swung the lathi yet again, this time landing it with a deafening thud, on my head. I could hear his mate, the guy driving, asking him to stop and get back onto the bike. It made no effect whatsoever on the attacker though, who seemed to be drunk and even at that moment, had a cigarette in his mouth.

I was almost paralyzed with shock after the blow to my head and barely had
time to react when he hit me for the third time, once again on the head. It was only after this third blow that I suddenly realized I needed to get away from these people. I started running away from them right away. The guy who had attacked me got back onto the bike to flee but even as they fled, he hit me once again on my right leg. Before I had even realized what had transpired or had recovered enough to note down the registration number of the bike, they were gone. It was only then that I realized my father had heard almost half the incident over the phone. I quickly called him up again, and asked him to get to me as soon as possible. Within a few seconds, he came running across the road to where I was standing, clutching my head. We immediately rushed to Paras Hospital where I was rushed into the Emergency Room.

Six stitches, three x-rays and over two hours later, I finally walked out of the Emergency Room and the Hospital.

The next morning, An Assistant Sub-Inspector from the Sushant Lok Police Station came to my house to collect a formal statement from me as a follow up to the medico-legal case that had been filed by the hospital itself the previous night. He was very helpful but seemed surprised that I had no idea who these guys were. In his opinion the possibility of finding these men was remote as I did not recognise them.

All in all, this was definitely one of the most random acts of completely
unnecessary violence I've ever witnessed or experienced.
Add to this the fact that I was barely a few meters from the Police check post
and one can't help but wonder, is Gurgaon really a so called 'Millennium City' during the daytime, but turns into a nightmare for an ordinary citizen showing its true, ugly face during the night, when most people are fast asleep inside their homes?

- Salil Shahane