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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Burgled but Alive !

Hey friends,
Just wanted to share an incident with you. What happened shook all of us. But what was worse was it could have been avoided. Well better late than never. Hope we all can learn from it and take solace from the fact that none of us were hurt.

This past Saturday, me and a couple of friends had been to Tamhini ghat on our bikes.
The climate and all was fantastic and the place was very inviting. It was all good.
We stopped at a point which looked deserted, no people around (mistake no. 1 ) and went to have a closer look at the Mulshi dam reservoir. There were huge warning boards put up asking us not to go into the water or on the banks as the banks are known be prone to visits from
snakes, crabs and alligators. We did not heed any of the signs and still in the holiday spirit proceeded towards the bank (mistake no. 2).

The bank was some distance from the road, a steep slope downwards and a distance of like 20 metres and thick bushes all around. The bikes were not visible from the place where we left our bags and the bank was even further down (mistake no. 3). We were enjoying the environs and
when it was time to get back, these 3 thugs pounced on us with large knives (koitas) and brass knuckles (popularly known as known as a fighter). The close range of the attack did not give us any chance to have any other ideas. On the contrary we completely blacked out (mistake no. 4 and according to me the most fatal one) and offered our presence of mind down the throats of fear, created by chopping branches and yeah also brutally attacking my helmet which was lying there. It still carries the mark if any of you still need any proof of the incident. They calmly relieved us of our mobile phones, jewelry and cash and then proceeded to remove the fuel pipes off our bikes to escape to some nearby place.

We came back to our bikes, called out for help and lucky for us a bunch of bikers did help us get our bikes started again. Completely conked out , the only thing on our minds was that we were short of petrol and not that we had to lodge a complaint as soon as possible (mistake no.
5). We did manage to reach the Paud police station 2 hrs later completely wet and lodged the complaint. Before that we encountered those thugs again on the road when they were fleeing on a motor cycle and we were by the road side fixing a fuel leak on my bike. We were
so self absorbed and shaken, that we could not even look at the number plate of that bike. (mistake no. 6). Well we did lodge the complain and the police were very co-operative and made every effort to ease our minds of the incident. Lucky for me I still do remember the face of
one of those thugs very clearly. So I could describe it to the cops. Hope it helps them.

Well , I don’t say don’t go out for rides or as such. But there are some precautions which can be taken to prevent such things from happening:

1. Plan such rides in a large group. A small group like the one which ambushed us would be ineffective in that case.
2. stop at a place which is inhabited and not completely deserted.
3. carry ample fuel in your bikes and carry its tool kit always.
4. if possible carry some small arms, but please do know how to use it. (ignorance could lead to death).
5. Park your bikes such that they are always visible from where you camp.
6. Carry cell phones of various providers and also the local police station number. Helps in contingencies and to catch the crooks at the earliest.
7. Have some cash with you, like 500 bucks and or some jewelry like a ring or such. Since such people are desperate in the need of money, they might end up hurting somebody if they do not find anything.
8. Presence of mind can save a lot in such times. Create a ruckus if confronted by such a situation. Attract attention.

Lets hope none of us have to go through anything like this again.