Kolkata, Feb 28 : With panic writ large on their traumatised faces, 13 West Bengal residents returned here on Friday after being trapped in Delhi without a morsel to eat during the recent arson that broke out in North-East Delhi after clashes between pro and anti-CAA protesters turned violent.
It was virtually a close brush with death for the 13 men, who went to the national capital from Naoda in Murshidabad district to earn a living by working as daily labourers.
"We got trapped in the disturbances. We didn't get anything to eat for three days. We couldn't venture outdoor. The police finally rescued us," said a youth, still looking tense as the team returned to Howrah station by Kalka Mail.
"The situation was very bad. We couldn't contact our family. Now we feel relieved," said another youth, who, along with others, had shut himself in a house in Shahdara, before he was shifted to a safe house in Banda Chowk.
"They went through a hellish experience. For two days, they kept all lights in the house switched off, and doors heavily locked. Even after the police and AAP volunteers went to rescue them, for a long time they couldn't master the courage to open the door.
"Finally, the rescuers called up one of those trapped on his mobile. Only then they opened the door," said Pranojit Saha of Bangla Sanskriti Mancha, who was one of those who coordinated with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi to ensure that the 13 Bengal residents returned safely.
Saha said Bangla Sanskriti Mancha President Samiul Islam was in constant touch with Delhi Labour Minister Gopal Rai, who arranged for the tickets of these people.
At the Howrah station, Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel escorted the 13 men to police vehicles which took them to their home in Naoda, around 200 km from here.