When did the threats begin?
The threats started after we received the court summons in May. We thought the case would be tried in Ahmedabad or Delhi. But after the summons from the Vadodara court, Bhattu and Madhu Srivastava contacted Lal Mohammad, a scrap dealer in our basti, and started threatening us through him. My brother Nafitullah was told we would be killed if we told the court what had happened. I did not meet either Bhattu or Madhu Srivastava till the day of my court hearing on May 17. On that day, Bhattu came up to me inside the court and said "Zabaan palat de nahin to accha nahin hoga" (Change your testimony or it won't be good for you).
And what did they tell Nafitullah?
They told him that they would get all the accused off the hook. That the lawyers and police were on their side. Right after the summons, Lal Mohammad had taken my brother to meet the two Srivastavas. He returned shaken. A week before my court hearing, my brother had already retracted his statement even though he had been attacked with swords by the mob. But I was still firm. It was when I went to court on May 17 that I got really scared.