Sharan Ramesh Arasa is a lucky man. He is one of the few people, who came in the firing line of terrorists Ajmal Qasab and Abu Ismail on November 26, 2008, and lived to tell the tale.
The duo had carjacked his silver Skoda Laura before proceeding to unleash mayhem on the city four years ago. Sharan, who owns Arasa restaurant in Andheri, said he is planning to sell his car, but not because of what transpired that fateful night. He said he remembers his brush with death that nightfours ago, but he has not allowed it to hold him back in any way.
Sharan was driving near Nariman point at around 12.15 pm on November 27, 2008 with two friends inside his vehicle. He was on the way to pick up another friend when a police Qualis coming from the opposite direction halted and a man got out, held him by the collar, pointed an AK-47 at him and demanded his car keys. Sharan’s friends were ordered to exit the vehicle and squat on the pavement. The Qualis was the same one Qasab and Ismail used to escape from CST a few minutes earlier and it had suffered a flat tyre.
After Sharan got out of his car, Ismail got into the driver’s seat and Qasab sat in the seat beside him. The terrorists proceeded to Girgaum Chowpatty, where Ismail was shot dead and the police captured Qasab alive.
Sharan said, “I remember Qasab’s face from the night I encountered these terrorists. However, I decided not to allow that incident to ruin my life and I have moved on. People ask me if the incident still haunts me and I tell them it does not. I still drive the same Skoda without any discomfort. I will continue to drive no matter what.”
About Qasab’s hanging, Sharan said that there was no reason why it had taken the authorities four years to see justice served, when there was such overwhelming evidence.
Regarding his Skoda, Sharan said, “If that night was the reason, I would have sold my car much earlier. I am planning to buy another vehicle and that is why I am selling my current car.”