Six friends had gone for dinner in Amboli, when a barber's advances towards one of the girls led to a heated argument; he returned with a gang of 13 for the gruesome revenge
A friends' night out turned into a macabre night of horrors in Amboli on Thursday, ending in the brutal death of a 24-year-old youth. Another injured victim lies in a critical condition in Kokilaben hospital. The youths were attacked by a gang of goons after they protested the unwelcome advances of an eve-teaser.
'I'll be back'
According to the DN Nagar police, three friends - Keenan Santos (24), Reuben Fernandez (29), and Avinash Solanki (31), all residents of Amboli, Andheri (West) went out for dinner to a restaurant, Amboli, in the locality on Thursday.
The group of six had finished dinner at the Amboli restaurant
and stepped out for paan, when they were attacked
They were accompanied by Santos and Fernandez's girlfriends, and a common friend. Having finished dinner at 11 pm, they stepped out for some paan.
As they waited by the local paanwala's stall, they were accosted by a drunken man, who has been identified as Jitendra Rana. Rana, who is a barber, allegedly made sexual advances towards Santos's girlfriend.
Unable to stomach his offensive remarks, Santos confronted the man, who then turned violent. A heated verbal exchange ensued between the two. Santos and his friends shoved the eve-teaser away, who beat a hasty retreat, promising that he would be back soon.
Though shaken, Santos and his friends did not take Rana's threat seriously, and strolled along, chewing on paan. Ten minutes later, however, Rana returned, this time with reinforcements.
Reuben Fernandez, deceased Keenan Santos and
Avinash Solanki in happier times
Three friends - Sunil Both, Satish Durgaj, and Deepak - accompanied him. Soon, a gang of about 13 goons, armed with swords and knives, emerged from three auto rickshaws that pulled up in front of the youngsters.
Rana then reached for Santos and stabbed him in the stomach with a knife. The impact of the knife was so deep that Santos's intestines spilled out.
Panicking, the three girls ran back inside the restaurant. Noticing that the goons were pursuing them, Fernandez rushed to their rescue, standing in their way. The goons responded by stabbing Fernandez four times. Bali managed to escape with minor stab wounds.
Santos and Fernandez were rushed to the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani hospital. At around 1 am, Santos was pronounced dead by doctors. Fernandez is still struggling for his life.
Hearing of the attack, Santos' father Valerian rushed to the hospital. "I drove to the hospital, and reached to find my son struggling for his life. He breathed his last within minutes," said Valerian.
Santos, who was working at Novotel Hotel in Juhu, had announced his plans to submit his papers to secure a job in Dubai, hours before his death.
Santos's grieving girlfriend said, "When Rana approached me, I could smell the alcohol from his breath. He ran away when Santos shoved him. He threatened that he would come back for revenge, but we couldn't imagine
that he would retaliate in this manner."
Vijay Kumar Bhoite, senior police inspector at DN Nagar police station said that they had conducted a combing operation and detained 30 men from the locality. "We have arrested Rana, Both and Durgaj. We are on the lookout for the fourth accomplice, Deepak," he said.
"We have asked the hotel to give us their CCTV grabs, so we can find out how many more goons were involved in the crime," added Bhoite.