Religion Never Came Between Us, Says Friend Of Delhi Fire Victim

33-year-old Monu Aggarwal said that the call from his childhood friend Musharraf Ali, before he was killed in the Anaj Mandi blaze, was recorded "by chance".

Religion Never Came Between Us, Says Friend Of Delhi Fire Victim

43 labourers died in the fire in Delhi's Anaj Mandi area early on Sunday morning. (File)

New Delhi:

Their heart-wrenching last telephonic conversation left many in tears-- with moist eyes, 33-year-old Monu Aggarwal said that the call from his childhood friend Musharraf Ali, before he was killed in the Anaj Mandi blaze, was recorded "by chance".

The telephonic conversation was later aired on television news channels and shared widely on social media websites.

As he died surrounded by toxic smoke, Mr Ali had asked his friend to take care of his family -- his elderly mother, wife and two children aged below eight -- after his death.

On Monday, Mr Aggarwal accompanied Ali's mother to Delhi to claim his body.

Asked if he intentionally recorded the phone call, Mr Aggarwal said: "I never recorded our conversation. It happened by chance. I believe my finger touched the recording button while I flipped open the phone cover."

"I only got to know about it through a notification after the call ended," Mr Aggarwal said.

The two friends belonged to Uttar Pradesh's Bijnor district.

"Our houses are in the same lane. We would talk for hours, discuss everything under the sun. We stood by each other through thick and thin," he said.

"Musharraf was more than my brother. Religion never came between us. On Eid, his family would host me. On Diwali, I would do the same," he recalled.

"His children are my children now. I did not get married because of personal reasons. Maybe god kept me unmarried because he knew these children would need me," he said, trying to hold back tears.

Mr Aggarwal said he lost his father when he was just eight years old and knows the pain of children who do not have a father.

"Ali was born after his mother suffered nine miscarriages. He was their only son. His father died six months ago.... He was on leave and came to Delhi on Friday," he said.

"I have a small business. I do not wish for riches. I pray to god to give me enough to feed the two families. I will adjust anyhow. I will do all that I can till my last breath," Mr Aggarwal, who runs a small cookware store in Bijnor's Nagina area, added.

Mr Aggarwal turned away to hide his tears when he recalled how on Mr Ali's "nikah" he got late in reaching the venue which made Ali upset. "He didn't eat till I reached the venue," he said.



(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
More News