Mohammad Iqlakh, who was killed in Dadri had made his last call seeking help to his Hindu childhood friend Manoj Sisodia. As per the police, Iqlakh’s call records show that he made his last call to Manoj at around 10:30 pm. Manoj owns a grocery shop which is at a distance of 500 metres to Iqlakh’s house.
Manoj told TOI, “By village standards, it was late in the night and I was preparing to go to sleep. That was when I saw Iqhlaq’s name flash on my phone. He sounded frantic. He told me: ‘Manoj bhai, hum khatrein mein hain. Kisi tarah police ko phone karke force bulwa do’ (Manoj, we are in danger. Call up the police and ask them to send a force). Those were his last words to me,”
He further added as he was recalling the worst night of his life, “I called up the police and told them my friend’s life was under threat. After I put the phone down, I ran to his house. I ran without stopping, but I was late. The police also arrived within 15 minutes, but Ikhlaq was already dead by then. Maybe if I had reached a little earlier, I could have helped in calming down the mob, enraged at the rumours of a calf having been slaughtered in the house. At least we could get his 21-year-old son, Danish, to hospital.”
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Danish is presently admitted in Kailash Hospital in Noida, his skull has been fractured with bleeding in frontal lobe. Now Manoj is afraid for his life as well, he said, “I feared that the mob would turn on me. After all, I used to dine with Iqlakh and his family often.”
Remembering the good old days, Manoj told that nothing of this sort has happened in his village earlier, he told, “Ever since I learnt to speak, I have known him. I celebrated with him when his elder son got inducted in the Air Force and I saw his daughter grow up in front of my house. This is not the sort of village where Hindus and Muslims don’t mingle. Even though there are only about 30-40 Muslim families in a village of over 6,000 people, they have never faced any danger.”
Manoj showed his unhappiness over the visit of politicians and media, as he says, “Bisada has turned into a circus of some sort. There is continuous presence of police force. Every day a new politician visits us and media persons come along with him. In all this mess, the village has got no time to heal.”