An even worse fate awaited him. On the evening of 20 February 1976, as the boy returned home, he found that the streetlights had been smashed. The next thing he knew, Bansi Lal’s rowdies emerged from the darkness and assaulted him with wanton savagery. He was thrashed with iron rods and lathis, beaten with metal chains, and mercilessly whipped with belts. He lost consciousness and lay bleeding on the roadside for six hours. No help came. Finally, when his family and friends approached the local doctors, none of them were willing to visit the Vasisht residence. The dread of Bansi Lal overpowered their sense of duty. Likewise, the police too, refused to file a FIR. After much persuasion, a courageous doctor visited their home in a car with thickly curtained windows. By now, Devabrata’s teenaged son was knocking on the doors of death. He was transported to the Rohtak Medical College and after a marathon treatment lasting thirty-one hours, regained consciousness.