Beware of strangers

Greater Kashmir

Don’t share your taxi or auto-rickshaw; you can land in trouble

After going through this piece one may feel as if some typical  Bollywood film is being discussed here. But let me tell my esteemed readers that I am not discussing a Hindi movie but I am highlight a real story. Story of a young man who had gone outside Kashmir recently in connection with  PhD admission,  but was kidnapped and looted by some criminals in Delhi, and finally left in an unconscious state near a Shamshan Ghaat .

Kidnapped & Robbed:
Mujtaba Bashir, 25,  a post graduate in Philosophy, belongs to a reputed family of Watrehail Lassipora in central Kashmir’s Budgam district. This young man is known to me since last quite some time and happens to be an ardent activist as well. Recently he had to visit Udaipur in Rajasthan state in connection with his PhD admission. Mujtaba  submitted  his documents at Pacific University Udaipur on December 24th, and left for Delhi on the same evening by Mewar Express. Next day – December 25th, 2014 – Mujtaba reached Delhi, and got down at Nizamudin station at around 9.30 am. As the buses from Delhi to Jammu leave during evening time, Mujtaba decided to visit some places of interest in New Delhi and before he could go and visit such places, Mujtaba wanted to book his bus tickets in advance from Red Fort area. While he was waiting at  a bus stop to board a bus for Red Fort, a man in his mid 30s came towards Mujtaba and started asking him where he was going? Mujtaba told him that   he was going to Red Fort. This man who introduced himself as Mumtaz,  a car spare parts dealer from  Pune, told Mujtaba that he too was going to visit Red Fort. As Mujtaba could not find a bus for some time, he thought of boarding an auto-rickshaw which was parked near the bus stop. Mumtaz told Mujtaba that they could share the auto as they both had to go to the same place. Both of them boarded an auto rickshaw and after covering half a kilometer, the driver stopped his vehicle and another man jumped inside and sat on the left hand side of the driver. When Mujtaba resisted, the driver told him “bhaijan Deli main tou aiysaa chaltaa hai”, Man, it was a normal thing in Delhi. 

Left Unconscious:
“I thought it was not a big issue, meanwhile one of the guy sitting on the left side of the driver offered me  some snacks (aloo bhujiyaa),  which I  refused to take. On the  insistence of “Mumtaz”  I ate a bit and within no time I felt like losing my senses and became unconscious.  “Before  I could  jump out from the running auto-rickshaw, these goons took out a bottle and  sprayed something near my nose and within no time  I became unconscious”, said Mujtaba while sharing this whole episode with me.

Thrown at Shamshan Ghaath:
When Mujtaba opened his eyes after some time, he was lying near a Hindu cremation ground  “Shamshan Ghaath”, near the banks of river Yamuna. In the evening at around 7pm, some Kashmiri people from Kulgam district who were working as wood cutters near that place, took Mujtaba inside their rented room. Mujtaba’s relatives were contacted in Budgam and finally on December 27th he was flown to Srinagar. All his valuables, cash, clothes, mobile phone, educational certificates, passport, ATM card, driving license were taken away by these criminals who had befriended poor Mujtaba.

I sincerely appeal all that nobody should share taxis or auto-rickshaws with strangers, nor should accept any eatables from them. Mujtaba  went through a nightmare, but he is a miracle. Mujtaba also told me that Kashmir University officials are charging high fees from him for getting duplicate certificates etc. I would sincerely appeal Kashmir University Vice Chancellor to intervene and help Mujtaba to get duplicate copies of his educational certificates free of cost. In addition to this, Director General of Police is requested to take up this matter with Delhi Police Commissioner.