Bimla Devi, an elderly woman, and her 30-year-old daughter who had been isolated by their family and forced to take shelter in the courtyard of their own house for the last two years found support from hundreds of residents who came to their rescue on Friday.
A group of residents lodged a complaint at Palam Vihar police station against the son and daughter-in-law, thanks to a joint initiative by a Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) election candidate and two NGOs — Shakintalam and Gurgaon Mission Development.
Residents of Sectors 23, 46 and representatives of the two NGOs huddled in a park and decided to file a complaint against Bimla's son, who works with a private firm in Manesar, and his wife, a homemaker, for the treatment meted out by them.
“Today it has happened to an elderly woman who can't speak or even walk and her young daughter; tomorrow it can happen to anyone of us in the locality. We must unite together and get her the place to stay which she rightfully deserves, because she is the one who owns the property and not her son. How can he throw her out,” said Nalini Bhargav, president of Shakuntalam.
Major general (retired) Satibir Singh, president of Mission Gurgaon Development, who came to know about the “shocking case” last week, made people aware about the tragedy and saw an array of social activists joining hands.
Some residents even offered the mother-daughter duo money which they refused.
“We get monthly pension from the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) where my father used to work before he died,” said Meenu.
The residents are now contemplating writing to the High Court seeking suo motu action against the accused.
When Hindustan Times approached Meenu who was tending to her sick mother, she said that they are staying in the courtyard out of their own will.
Meenu also complained that her brother and sister-in-law used to beat them.
“We were often slapped. Now, I am happy staying outside,” she said. After public outcry and a police complaint, Bimla's daughter-in-law said she is willing to take them back.
“She (Meenu) is mentally unstable and stays in the courtyard out of her own will. I welcome them back home and promise to do whatever I can to the best of my abilities,” said Bimla's daughter-in-law.
Investigating officer Poonam Singh said: “We will now look into the allegations and act accordingly.”