Benjamin Fernandez and Avinash Solanki, who were with Keenan and Reuben on that fateful day, expressed happiness at the court’s ruling.
(Left to right) Avinash Solanki, Keenan Santos, Benjamin Fernandez and Reuben Fernandez
“The judgment has met our expectation,” said Benjamin Fernandez, the 29-year-old brother of Reuben Fernandez.
After the court’s ruling, the families of Keenan and Reuben went to St Blaise church in Amboli. While Reuben’s father Ronald Fernandez is retired, Benjamin works as a researcher with a management consultancy.
What he rues today is that they did not take the threat seriously.
“Had we taken the threat seriously and moved from there, we could have saved their lives,” said Benjamin.
While speaking to mid-day, Benjamin recalled the strong friendship that the group shared.
“The group used to meet everyday and every moment spent with them is a memory. But the best memory was Avinash’s birthday celebration that was held in February in the same year of the incident (2011),” said Benjamin adding that his brother (Reuben) was a daring boy who would always protect girls.
Avinash Solanki, the first witness in this case and the one who went to the police station that night, recalled, “If people would have come forward, we would have not lost Keenan and Reuben. We tried calling the police many times, but the lines were busy.”
Solanki expressed his satisfaction after the judgment and said, “I feel bad and hurt. Also we miss them a lot.”