Sunday, April 05, 2009

An untold story of a family

An untold story of a family

Dr.Lenin Raghuvanshi 4/4/2009 11:39:11 AM(IST)

I am Munni Devi and reside in S 18/ 149, Nadesar, Rajabazar, Varanasi. I have five children, three sons and two daughters. Among them two sons and a daughter had been married. After the marriage, my sons have their own separate household arrangements.

When my youngest son, Guddu was 7-8 years old, I sent him to Mumbai along with a neighbourer. He earned his livelihood selling toys in the metropolis and even used to send us some money. There he grew into a young man.

When my sons and a daughter were married my youngest son could not attend their marriage. Whenever he used to come to Varanasi he was accompanied by our neighbourer, who had migrated to Mumbai for earning a livelihood.

Once, when Guddu had come to Varanasi, after attending a marriage ceremony at Lanka while coming back to home he was arrested in the way and taken to police station.

Next day, in the morning, people known to us rushed to our home, informing that my son has been arrested, which they had read in the newspapers. We were dumbstruck as my ears could not believe that. They showed us the newspaper in which the story of my son’s arrest had appeared. Then also I could not believe my eyes.

Then, we rushed to the kutchery (local court) where we came to know that two boys, including my son have been nabbed on murder charges. It seemed much more shocking than death. I was quite definite that my son was falsely implicated. Whatever might be the reason he was my son, who at least used to earn on his own.

However, I lived a hand to mouth existence, where my husband turned out to be worthless earning not a single penny for the family. Even he had no attachment towards the family, for past 10 to 12 years. For running the household and to feed my children, I took up stitching work. But that too suffered a setback, when I and my son had to go to the court at regular intervals. I had never faced such turbulent situation. I have to take loan and sell my meager land holding, to fight my son’s case. After one and half years, my youngest son was released from the jail. His release brought relief to us. Guddu, my son was shifted to my daughter’s brother-in-law’s house to save him from police harassment.

One day, there also plain clothed policeman reached there and picked up Ashok Pradhan and my youngest son. They were taken to police station and a boy witnessing that rang up and informed us. Again, my innocent son was framed in false case, it came in my mind. After my son’s arrest, I and my family members had to run from pillar to post to know the whereabouts of my son.

After knowing that my son is in Bhelupur police station, then we rushed there. Reaching there, we were not allowed to meet my son. Then, after much persuasion we were permitted to meet my son. Seeing my son at the police station I was thinking what fate had befallen on me. It would have been better if I would have died. In the cold wintry night, we used to spend our nights outside the police station. After 6 to 7 days of my son’s arrest, a false case of drug trafficking was booked against my son. He was behind the bars for two and half months. We got scared. Still my head starts reeling remembering that.

Doctor also advises not to burden my brain. He says if you die then who would take care of your son. After two and half months my son was released on bail. Then I was quite assured that police is responsible for turning an innocent to a criminal. After the bail I sent back my son to Mumbai. All of my family members are scared of police.

Just a fortnight back police again came and asked my grandson where your uncle is? He told that he is in Mumbai. Then the police started abusing my other son and took him to the police station. Till we reached the police station he was released. Police has been constantly threatening us. They say that if we don’t call back our son back from Mumbai then they would be forced to auction our house and evict us.

Recently, my grandson accompanying me to a shop to purchase jalebi, seeing a policeman standing there he got scared and asked me, ‘Grandma, I don’t need jalebi, let’s go back to home.’

Always a fear lurks our mind that anytime police can knock the door. I cannot sleep in the night. My grandson is quite fearful seeing the police. He is scared of police’s abusive language and its uniform. Its always fear in my mind that if my son moves out, would police catch him, thinking that he starts shivering. Though what I have faced had generated confidence in me.

Based on testimony of Munni Devi by RCT-PVCHR initiative against TOV

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