I remember the sequence of events vividly. We were there, four-five people in Darussalaam, the Majlis headquarters on that fateful night. Along with Khasim Razvi himself, Nawab Khader Ali Khan, I and two-three others were present there. I was a young man then, in my B.Sc first year. Except Khasim Razvi, not one of us was part of the Razakars. Every one of the people who promised to stick by Khasim Razvi’s side till his last breath had vanished. Except for us, Darussalaam was deserted as were the streets. We knew that the Indian police had taken control and did not quite know what to expect. We were waiting, for what none of us was sure. Three vehicles pulled up in Darussalaam. An assistant commissioner of police, (a post equivalent to a deputy commissioner or perhaps and additional commissioner these days), his name was Younus I recall, was in the vehicle in the middle. When the police party climbed up the stairs, it was Nawab Khader Ali Khan and I who stopped them.
Nawab saab: Why have you come here?
Younus: We have a warrant.
Nawab saab: Warrant for what?
Younus: Warrant to arrest Khasim Razvi Sahab
Nawab saab: You will have to arrest us first
Younus: Nawab Sahab, please step aside. We have warrant only to arrest Khasim Razvi Sahab and not others. Please do not make trouble, please allow us to do our job. Why create unnecessary trouble? It is all over and he must be arrested.
At this, Khasim Razvi’s PA went inside and informed him about the arrival of the police party.
Nawab Khader Ali Khan and I stepped aside and the police went inside Khasim Razvi’s chambers.
Inside, Khasim Razvi asked Younus if he had a warrant. Getting an affirmation, he took out his revolver, placed it on a teapoy, adjusted his uniform, (he was wearing the uniform worn by the Razakars) and came out. Khasim Razvi then proceeded to salute the Majlis flag that was hoisted in Darussalaam. He said, “Mai pahle aur aakhri Razakar hoon (I am the first and last Razakar) and then stepped inside the police vehicle.
Nawab Khader Ali Khan said to the police, “Arrest us too if you must, we will not let you take him.”
The assistant kotwal said, “We have orders and the warrant only for Khasim Razvi’s arrest. Please do not make trouble.”
With this, the police vehicles left.
The rest of us were stunned and could not speak a word.
After what seemed a lifetime, we could see the sky turning brighter with the day advancing. The others went away silently, with only I and Nawab Khader Ali Khan remaining in Darussalaam.
He told me that it was time to go home. We stepped out and the roads were eerily silent, not a soul was seen.
We walked to our respective homes. I did not encounter a single person on the roads that day.
When I reached home, I told my family what had happened.
We waited for a week, and no one came to arrest me. I faced no charges whatsoever, perhaps because I was not part of the razakars. On my family’s advice, I left for Pakistan.
I stayed there for a year, but was never content. Hyderabad pulled me back. I returned after a year and have been living here since.
Badruddin Khan is semi-retired and a respected philatelist.
— As told to Mir Quadir Ali...