Diwali Extortion

Diwali Extortion

Three families were returning to the city from a resort in Shahapur village in Thane District after a short Diwali holiday. They were traversing the journey in two cars, when they came across a large group of villagers walking on the narrow road ahead, jamming the way. The area was completely deserted with no civilization in sight. As the first car sounded the horn, the villagers turned around and blocked the road completely with the help of a rather long and thick iron pole they were carrying. Surrounding the car the villagers refused to clear the way. When the driver honked again, two of villagers tapped on the tinted window glass and asked them for money! "Its Diwali, so give us money, else we will not let you go" they seemed to be saying in the local language. The whole situation was frightening, to say the least.

Fortunately the second car which was not far behind, caught up with the first and both cars attempted to move ahead simultaneously. Just at the same time, a local auto rickshaw too approached from the front. Seeing so many vehicles at a time, the "extortionist" villagers were forced to clear the way and the group literally escaped from the clutches of what could have been a difficult situation. Yet, when the willagers had stalled the first car, the occupants admit at having missed a heartbeat. After all, the villagers far out-numbered the group and also carried an iron pole.

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