I own a Pool Centre which is about a kilometre away from the house. My son and I sleep there because there isn’t enough room at home. That night, I said bye to my family after dinner and left for the pool room with my son. It was raining heavily and I could barely sleep because of the noise on the roof. At midnight, I got a frantic call from my wife and all I could hear were her cries. I woke up my son and we rushed home.
The room was full of a smoky, stinky smell. I saw the dread in the faces of my daughters. I had no idea what had happened there. The neighbours had already called an ambulance, but it was late so I took my injured daughters in a borrowed scooter to nearest Chakor Hospital.
For two hours, the doctors applied medicines and bandages on the burns, but then suggested that I take them to Kathmandu. An ambulance driver helped me out. The doctors gave my daughters painkillers and we drove off at 3AM.
Rambabu Paswan, my neighbour insisted that he come along. It took us seven hours to reach Kathmandu and my daughters were finally sent to the operating rooms. Sushmita had suffered 4% burns in her body, but Samjhana had 35% and was kept in the ICU. I wept when I saw her there.
The Rautahat police called me up after a few days and asked me about the relationship of my daughter with Rambabu Paswan. I said we were neighbours, but the police sounded suspicious. They told me he had called her 180 times in the 15 days before the attack, but that his phone was now switched off. So, in the hospital in Kathmandu, I asked Paswan where his phone was, and he said he had lost it while sleeping outside the ICU.