Ever since their son, media executive Neeraj Grover, died in 2008, Amarnath and Neelam Grover have had little to look forward to.
The grief-stricken couple had not even had the chance to cremate their son.
What kept them going was the hope that Neeraj’s killers would be brought to book some day. But when the Mumbai sessions court read out the verdict on Friday, the Grovers were in a state of shock.
“Maria (Susairaj) is the killer. How can she be let off” asked Amarnath Grover. “This decision has broken me completely. My family is shattered. All I want to do is to cry,” he added, as he watched the television channels flash the verdict.
“It was a clear case of first degree murder. There were 46 witnesses, enough documentary evidences all corroborating the murder charge. And at the end of it Maria and Jerome stand clear of that charge. It is appalling,” he continued.
The Grovers believe the judgement was manipulated at some level. “Or else how come Maria who was denied bail every time she applied for it is cleared of murder charge and allowed freedom for murdering my son, cutting his body into 300 pieces and burning them,” said the incredulous father.
Though both of them were equally disappointed with the verdict, Amarnath seemed defeated as well.
So much so, that he claimed he wasn’t prepared to take this battle for justice to the next stage.
He said, “I am a senior citizen who has limited resources. I can't shuttle between Kanpur and Mumbai the way I did in last three years.”
“The prosecutor RK Kinni and the crime branch have told us that the state of Maharashtra will challenge the decision in high court. Let see what happens,” he added.
It was Neeraj’s mother, Neelam, who sounded more resolute. Breaking her mournful silence for the first time she said, “We will be part of that challenge. We will definitely not let my son's death go in waste.”
Meanwhile, they are hopeful the people of the country will join their cry for justice “like they rose in the Jessica Lal case”.