Terror tactics by a group of blackmailing eunuchs has left a family living off Ring Road seething with rage, tinged with panic. The Bandawala family has been hounded by the eunuchs who are demanding Rs 10,000 as Diwali 'baksheesh' and the construction of a new house for the past one week.
Things reached a stage when the family decided to temporarily vacate their house and stay with their relatives. And they're not the only ones who are being harassed by the Nandlalpura-based group of eunuchs. "They came to our place on November 1 and demanded baksheesh of Rs 21,000 for the house," said Pankaj Wadhwani, who shifted to the colony around six months ago.
"Most of the houses here have been built recently. The eunuchs land up and demand baksheesh for new houses. If a family doesn't pay they create a scene," said a colony resident, who paid off the eunuchs.
He said people living in the colony had paid between Rs 5,000 and Rs 15,000 to them and even directed this scribe to two such families. Both, however, refused to come on record.
Narrating the chain of events Vinod Bandawala, home for Diwali from Aurangabad, said it all began on the morning of October 23. "A group of kinnar (eunuchs) came when my aged parents and wife were at home and demanded Rs 51,000 for Diwali and our new house," said Vinod, 40, father of a five-year old.
"After a while they brought the amount down to Rs 10,000. My wife told them that we couldn't afford to pay such a huge amount and offered Rs 500-1,000. This angered them so much that they started cursing us," said Bandawala, who works for a well-known Marathi publication.
"Tumare ghar se arthi uthe (may someone die in your house)" was among the curses showered by the eunuchs. "The shouting and cursing created a very stressful situation for my 65-year-old mother who is unwell and has been advised by doctors to avoid tension," said Bandawala.
The group eventually left after an hour but threatened to return on November 1. "They left behind a calling card with and told my wife to contact them for the payment," said Bandawala.
True to their word, the eunuchs turned up on Saturday morning, "but my son had locked the gate and they eventually left after banging against it for some time." Apprehensive that the eunuchs might harass his parents and wife in his absence, he approached the Rajendra Nagar police before leaving for Aurangabad on Saturday.
"I spoke to sub inspector (SI) Kamal Singh Solanki, who asked us to file a written complaint. He also advised us to call the Police Control Room (100) in case there was any trouble," he said.
The eunuchs again turned up at the Bandawala residence on Monday morning. "We informed the SI who sent a constable but the eunuchs had left by then. Contacted, Solanki confirmed the reports.