“Saad babu was scheduled to return by a train along with his elder brother Shadab. Shadab had called us to complain that the little brother was not ready to leave the mosque until tomorrow morning”, the slain naib imam’s maternal uncle Ibrahim Akhtar told PTI-Bhasha over the phone.
“The main Imam of the Masjid had gone out of station, and Saad felt duty-bound not to leave the premises until his superior, who was scheduled to return on Thursday, was back”, said the bereaved uncle.
The elder brother, who stays elsewhere in Gurugram and gives tuition for a living, was of the view that they leave to a “safer” place, mindful of the communal violence there. However, for the younger sibling, the call for duty was too compelling.
Saad’s father Mushtaq smells a “conspiracy” against his son, unable to come to terms with reports that the mild-mannered youngster was attacked with swords before being shot dead.
“What was my son’s fault? Why did the mob attack the Naib Imam and not others who were present inside the mosque? I want justice. I want nothing else from the government,” said the crestfallen father. “We were planning to visit Muzaffarpur tomorrow to receive Saad and his brother at the station and bring them home. Now, here we are, awaiting the ambulance which would bring his body,” wailed the bereaved father. The elder brother, who was to accompany Saad on the train journey, was now travelling by the hearse carrying the mortal remains.
Sitamarhi Superintendent of Police Manoj Tiwari said, “The village falls under Nanpur police station. I am instructing the SHO to extend all help that the bereaved family may need during the funeral”.