Prashant Dayal, Deewal-35: Firoz would get teary eyed as DCP Sinha and Inspector Jadeja looked on. Firoz continued, "Our society was surrounded from all the sides and were being pelted with stones. The policemen outside were not in a situation to control the mob, they too only had sticks for their defence. One couldn't go near the windows or open the doors because we'd be hit by stones. We could see from the broken window-panes that everyone in the society was running towards Salimbhai's house. Salimbhai was a former politician and a respectable figure amongst the people. Many senior politicians and leaders would still visit his house. Salimbhai was our last hope. Everybody thought that he would make a few phone calls and the police would arrive soon. I saw Parvez was really scared and my weeping wife urged that we too rush to Salimbhai's house. I had realised that the mob could come inside the society anytime, so I told my wife that we all would run together towards Salimbhai's house and not even wait to lock the door. I held my wife's hand and we all ran towards to Salimbhai's house. The mob noticed us running and targeted their stones towards us. One even hit my forehead and I began to bleed, but I couldn't stop as we were nearby to Salimbhai's house.
As we entered Salimbhai's house, it was already packed with people. The women were crying, and Salimbhai could be seen frantically making phone calls to some people asking for help. That day, no one seemed to be willing to help him. We got more scared wondering if no one is ready to help Salimbhai, who would help us. Suddenly, we head slamming of the iron gates of Salimbhai's house. The mob had entered the society and now wanted to enter Salimbhai's house. We could hear people shouting "Kill these miyas, kill them." Even the men wouldn't stop crying due to fear. Salimbhai advised us to run upstairs through the back door. We ran towards the door as many of us can. We could see petrol bombs being hurled at Salimbhai's house. We locked ourselves inside a room on the top floor. We were trembling with fear as we could hear screams of people outside and smell smoke from something burning outside. As about half an hour passed in fear, we heard sirens of police jeeps, and a few gunshots too. Another half an hour passed as we kept guessing if it was police vehicles that came in and all of a sudden we heard sharp knocking on the door of the room we were hiding. We didn't open but then someone from outside said "Open, this is the police". As we opened, it was indeed the police.
As we got down, we saw all the houses in the society were set to fire, including the ground floor of Salimbhai's house. There were corpses lying on the ground, some half-burnt. I immediately remembered about Parvez and looked my wife inquiring about Parvez. She too had no clue. We looked around in the crowd of people but he wasn't there. The policemen were hurrying us into the vehicles that were to take us to relief camps. I tried to tell one of the cops that my son is missing, but he hastened us into the vehicle saying they'll look for him. A remorseful Firoz took out a handkerchief from his kurta and wiped his tears. He said, Sir, till date we haven't seen Parvez. We searched for him everywhere, even at the morgue in Civil Hospital. Parvez's mother couldn't bear the separation, till today she remembers Parvez every single day. We didn't have the heart to go back to that place. Many NGOs and journalists came, but no one could be of any help. Some community leaders came forwards and pooled in money to by land near Vatva, and thus Yakubnagar was built. We couldn't live there as I was a mattress-maker and I was unable to find employment there and also we couldn't set our minds into living in the house given to us there. So my wife and I decided to move into the city and begun living on rent in Halim ni Khadki. We pay Rs2000 as rent for it. The government gave us Rs5 lakhs declaring Parvez dead, we have put that money in bank and earn a monthly interest of Rs3000 on it. I work at a shop in Delhi Darwaza and earn Rs6000. As Firoz finished his tale, it was 5:30 in the morning. The constables outside the building were yawning and half asleep. The DCP sat silent for ten minutes, his eyes fixed towards the ceiling. After a deep thought he sat up and asked Firoz, "How much money did Naseeruddin give you?" Firoz answered, "I denied from taking rent for my house, but before leaving Ahmedabad he handed over Rs5000 to me and compelled me to take it.