December 5, 2008 12:42:54 am
For two years, while he raised a blackbuck like family after the Forest Department washed its hands of the animal, Mohammed Alamgir didn’t complain. In the past month, as Sultan fell ill, he sought help but didn’t get any. Now, over four days, Alamgir has lost almost everything. The ailing Sultan died on November 22; the son who helped look after it on November 26, waiting for a train back home at Mumbai’s CST Station when the terrorists struck.
Mohammed Hasan, 30, was present in the second-class waiting room of CST when the terrorists opened fire, hitting him on his forehead.
Alamgir, a railway fitter at Danapur, became well-known around Patna after he rescued the male blackbuck from hunters in Phulwarisharif two years ago. He came to love the animal like family and called him Sultan.
With Alamgir away in Mumbai to get Hasan’s body, the family is grieving in silence inside their Khalilpura residence, which has been shut to outsiders.
“It all started with the death of the blackbuck, which had been suffering with a swollen leg for the past three months. It is like losing two members of the family, one to a terrorist and another to the negligence of the Wildlife Department,” Hasan’s sister Reshma Khatoon told The Indian Express.
Hasan had appeared for a job interview in Mumbai on November 24 and was in the waiting room for his train to Patna when the terrorists shot him. A diploma holder from Indian Technical Institute, Jamshedpur, Hasan had been working in Saudi Arabia till recently before he quit to return to Patna. He had gone to Mumbai looking for another job, again in the Gulf, and the family was banking on him getting work.
Hasan was killed on the spot after a bullet hit him in the forehead. Unaware, his family at Patna kept praying for his well being until November 28, when the train from Mumbai arrived. Even then, they initially didn’t lose hope as Hasan’s name was in the passengers’ list.
However, on November 30, Alamgir’s worst suspicions were confirmed when he received a call from the Mumbai Police saying his son had died in the terror attacks. Hasan is survived by his wife and a four-year-old son. He has three brothers.
On November 2, The Indian Express had carried a story on how Alamgir and Hasan had taken up the responsibility of the blackbuck they had rescued after the Forest Department reportedly refused to keep the protected animal. The family said Hasan was instead made to sign a “zimmanama (responsibility letter)” on a plain paper saying the Forest Department could take away the blackbuck whenever it wanted. The state Government on Wednesday announced Rs 1.5 lakh compensation for Hasan’s family while RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav said his wife would be given a Railway job.
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