The entire nation was outraged on hearing about the brutal killing of Keenan and Reuben, but nobody rose to help the two bravehearts, as they fought to save their female friends from the brutes harassing them.
“That day, everyone was crying and nobody helped us. They just watched. If people present there had helped us, I don’t think we would have lost Keenan and Reuben,” Shobhita Singh, who was among the girls that the duo was protecting.
But fear had infected even her own family, who tried to stop her from testifying during the court proceedings, but Shobhita told them she owed it to her friends.
“My parents and relatives tried to stop me from deposing before the court, but I didn’t listen to them. Keenan and Reuben died protecting our honour. Today, I feel like I helped them get justice,” she said.
Shobhita said even the families of the accused approached her and requested her to back out. “They said a lot of time had passed since the incident and asked me to forgive the accused as they have kids. I asked them, what about those two boys who lost their lives?”
“Nobody will forget that day; it changed everyone’s life. All of us used to see things like this in movies, but it actually happened to us. Even when the doctor told us that Keenan was no more, I still couldn’t believe what had happened,” she said.
“I was not in my senses even the next day; the clothes I was wearing had blood stains on them and I went to office in those same clothes. We were thankful that at least Reuben was okay, but after a few days, we lost him too. Reuben did not know that Keenan had died. It was the police who went to take his statement without anyone’s permission and told him about Keenan’s death. Reuben died of shock.”
Mumbai will forever be tainted by the memory of that night, said Shobhita, who moved back to her home in Delhi after the shock of the 2011 incident. “If I hadn’t left Mumbai and gone back to Delhi, I would have slipped into depression,” she added.
Testifying wasn’t easy for her either; she had to keep shuttling between Delhi and Mumbai.
“It was humiliating and emotionally draining to go to court and see those accused. I got fever just seeing them in the dock and identifying them there,” said Shobhita.
But it all paid off yesterday. She said, “The accused will remember every day what they did. I imagine Keenan and Reuben are born again, and wherever they are, they must be happy today. I feel proud that I helped. I can die happy now.”