On 23rd October 2011, group of cricket fans came together to enjoy a match on a big screen, have dinner at Amboli Kitchen and Bar, eat pan and have fun. What followed didn’t quite work out that way.
Dinner done, as they were at the paan shop, a drunk man stumbled against one of the girls. Thinking that this is your average garden variety drunk, one of the men in the group, Avinash Solanki, slapped him. Got into a verbal spat, another friend, Reuben Fernandes, hit him too. However, this was no garden variety drunk lecher (which are kind of common on streets). This man had two murder cases pending against him, and he was a barber and roaming around scot free.
He was accompanied by a few other men. Angry and wanting revenge, he swore he’d be back, and the group dismissed him. Shaken over what happened, but not expecting trouble, they continued to stand there. Meanwhile, said man returned with a group of people in three rickshaws – thirteen, many said – and his original companions. They were armed with swords and knives. Keenan and Reuben tried to reason with them while the others got the girls out of the way to safety. Keenan Santos was stabbed viciously, and his intestines spilled out. As Bejnamin tried to get the girls into the restaurant, some of the thugs followed them. Reuben Fernandes got in their way and was viciously stabbed too. As onlookers watched in shock, Avinash Solakni hurled a nearby ladder at them and pulled Keenan and Reuben into the restaurant.
Many excuses were heard in the media, but the bottom line is, onlookers DID NOT HELP.
One life lost, one life hanging on by a thread. Because a crazy drunk didn’t see anything wrong in molesting a woman or to attack her friends for defending her. The first thought that came to my mind was if I would ever want my friends to come to my rescue if it would mean them paying with their lives. Then I wondered, what kind of a world would it be, if we can’t count on each other to help…