That whole day, Yusuf kept on talking about Mumtaz, and Mohammed would listen to it intently. Mumtaz was 2 years old when Yusuf was arrested. 15 days after being arrested by the crime branch, he met Mumtaz in court, where she was brought by his wife. That was the last time he held her in his arms. As he spoke about his daughter to Mohammed, he would imagine a mental picture Mumtaz who’d have turned 10 years old today. Mumtaz didn’t know anything when her father was arrested, but today she is grown up and understands everything. Yusuf had instructed his wife to never bring Mumtaz to the prison, even though she has asked for it many times in the past. She would pine for her father, as she doesn’t actually remember how he looks like. One day, she came home from school crying, her classmates were making fun of her saying “your father is a terrorist”. She didn’t know what terrorist means, but because all her classmates were verbally bullying her by calling her “terrorist’s daughter”, she thought her father is bad person. Yusuf’s wife tried to explain to her daughter that her father is not a terrorist, but as she spoke, she too broke down. As he spoke about this, tears began to flow from his eyes again. That night, he went to sleep early.

There was a different calmness on the face of Yusuf as he woke up next morning. The other inmates too had woken up and began their daily chores in the ward. All of a sudden, the guards started to blow their whistles. It started off with the sound of one whistle, which increased to multiples whistles being blown. Such instances meant that there was something wrong inside the jail. These whistles were a way of making warning communication between the guards, who’d then lock up all the inmates inside the barracks, which fell under his jurisdiction. The constant sound of multiple whistles brought a sense of fear among the inmates; they stood by the gates, looking into different directions trying to see what was happening outside. Meanwhile, the guards armed with sticks were running around, driving the inmates who were still outside, into their barracks, ordering them to stay inside. It was 6:30 in the morning, the atmosphere looked very lovely, but the situation inside the prison had turned grim. The guards were yet unaware of what had happened and which guard had first blown the whistle, but they were in a hurry to lock all the inmates into their respective barracks first. Amidst all this commotion, the subedar who sits behind the main gate got to know about the incident and he sounded the siren to signal the situation of emergency. The siren indicated that something unusual has taken place inside the jail. It meant that all the jail staff and authorities living in the jail quarters inside the prison complex were to remain present immediately. The siren went on continuously and it was echoing into the ears of the employees inside the prison campus who had either woken up or were yet to wake up. All of them hurriedly put on their uniforms and rushed to the main gate. Soon there was huge congregation of khaki wearing people near the gate.

 Many inmates from Yusuf’s barrack had gone for their morning as it was their norm. They too were pushed and driven towards their ward and the guard ordered the warden to lock them up inside quickly. Once all the inmates were inside, it was locked with a huge iron padlock. As most of the barracks were locked up, the sound of whistles begin to die down too. As everyone had the same question in their mind, on what actually happened, unconfirmed information from the inmates who were out on their morning walk was that some inmates in the Bada Chakkar had knifed another fellow inmate of theirs. Even as the prisoners inside the barrack were in two minds about accepting this information, they heard a siren sound again, this time a little different from the previous one. They were guessing it was the sound of an ambulance. Their guess was true as an ambulance made its way into the campus from the vehicular path to the right of the main gate. The ambulance was led towards the Bada Chakkar by a guard, its siren still blaring loud. The sound stopped after a few seconds and the inmates were getting curious to know what the situation was outside. 5 minutes later the siren starts again and it could be heard diminishing over a distance, with the inmates guessing that the ambulance had left with the injured.

The second guess of the inmates too were true, the ambulance had left the Sabarmati Jail premises for the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital. The inmate on the stretcher was dressed in whites, which was now soaked in blood. He was still breathing. The attendant and a jail guard next to him kept a close watch on the heavy breathing of the inmate. There were several stab wounds on the inmate and he was bleeding from it. At times, a bubble of blood would form inside the mouth of the inmate. The attendant seemed worried as he knew it was not a good sign. The guard would try to read expressions on the attendant’s face and understand the situation. The inmate took his last breath as the ambulance entered Ahmedabad Civil Hospital. Nevertheless, he was put on a stretcher and taken to the emergency ward at the trauma centre. The doctor in charge checked his veins, put his sthetescope on the blood soaked chest of the inmate and said, “He is no more”

Read Part 14- Deewal, the story of the Sabarmati jailbreak attempt: A daughter’s birthday