| Tahir Khurshid: Presence of mind. Picture by Bishwarup Dutta
Tahir Khurshid, who was kidnapped from the city by his cousin on Thursday and rescued in Bihar the day after, returned home on Sunday and recounted his experience.
“I was sitting between two men in my car with the seat belt strapped on. I thought of escaping, but decided against it. The abductors would have shot me at least twice by the time I managed to open the car door,” said the 24-year-old scion of a business family sitting in his Karaya residence.
He also recalled his abduction: “I was going to our leather goods-manufacturing unit at Tiljala in my orange Maruti Swift. When I stopped at a traffic signal on the eastern slope of Bridge No. 4 on the Park Circus Connector, my cousin Mohammad Nadeem knocked on the window and asked for a lift. As soon as I opened the door, another youth named Tanveer also got in. He whisked out a firearm and asked me to drive on. Nadeem took the wheel near Science City and stepped on the accelerator.”
Tahir initially thought Nadeem and Tanveer were trying to snatch the car and offered to gift them the vehicle if they let him go. The cousins had last met at a marriage one and a half years ago.
The abductors made the ransom call to Tahir’s father Khurshid Alam near Sasaram, Bihar. “Around 8 pm, the two shared chapati, chicken and fish, which I was carrying with me to the tannery. We soon reached a hotel in Varanasi and spent the night there. The next day, on our way to Bettiah, Raju Tiwari boarded the car,” said Tahir.
Tahir said he became nervous after the abductors told him that they would hand him over to a professional gang in Bettiah, from where he would be taken to Nepal. “I was sure the kidnappers would kill me after receiving the ransom.”
He promised Nadeem not to press charges if he allowed him to go home. “I asked him whether he was kidnapping me to repay his debts. I told him that I would even ask my father to give him money to clear his dues, but he did not pay any heed,” Tahir said.
The three abductors were arrested in Bettiah.