Factory worker travels 12 hrs, borrows money to bring brother’s body home
Both brothers worked on contract in private factories and earned Rs 6,000 a month. Together, they took care of eight members of the family. But now the burden will fall on Samar, who will also have to arrange Rs 35,000 for the cremation. “I will borrow from villagers and relatives for it,” said Samar Pal.Updated: Aug 29, 2017 21:03 IST
When Samar Pal started on an over-400 km journey in search of his younger brother who had been missing since Saturday, he didn’t have a single paisa in his pocket. The journey took 12 hours. His search ended on Monday at the mortuary of Civil Hospital, Panchkula.
Samar’s bother Chander Pal’s was the 27th body of a Dera Sacha Sauda follower to be identified and handed over to the family by the Haryana Police Monday.
Six bodies are still lying unclaimed and will be cremated by the authorities if no one comes forward to claim them by Tuesday night.
One more dera follower, Jagdish, breathed his last at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, on Monday, taking the toll in the Panchkula violence to 33.
TRACING THE FAMILY
Chander hailed from Dhimari block in Uttarakhand’s Udham Singh Nagar district’s Dinsehpur area. He came from a village with a population of 2000, of which 15-20 are followers of the dera.
He had become a follower eight years ago. It was following announcements that Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh will be reaching Panchkula that Pal left for Chandigarh alongwith several other villagers. Before leaving, he only informed his wife.
The family started panicking when he did not return along with other villagers.
“I work as a daily wage labourer at a factory. I returned home late on Friday night so did not enquire about him. The next day, my children told me that ‘chachu’ had not returned,” said Samar. “Had I known that he was leaving for such a gathering, I would have taken away his money and not allowed him to come here.”
While he was beginning to fret about his brother, the local police got a call from the Chandigarh informing that two youth from Dhimari were admitted to Panchkula hospitals.
Police contacted village head Makhan Lal, who traced the two families. “I made announcements in the village and gathered the families whose members had been to Panchkula,” says Makhan Lal, who accompanied Samar on his journey.
While one of the families refused to visit Panchkula fearing arrest, Samar decided to accompany the police team led by SubInspector Girish Chandola of Dineshpur Police station to look for his brother.
Their 12-hour journey started at 3pm on Sunday and they reached Panchkula at 3am on Monday. “While I was on my way, police called me up asking what my brother was wearing. I understood that something was amiss,” says Samar, who hasn’t eaten a morsel for the past one day.
His worst fears came true when he was taken to the mortuary. He identified the body with number 300 written on its head as that of his younger brother.
A police official said he died of a bullet injury in the chest. However, the hospital employee wrote, “Bhagdarh mein chot lagne se maut (death in stampede)” as the reason in the medical report.
Samar couldn’t notice the bullet injury. “Mere se dekha nahi gaya use, main bahar aa gaya (I couldn’t seem him like that. I came out),” he told one of his elders, who called from Uttarakhand.
NO MONEY FOR CREMATION
“He was like my child. I left studies so that he could study further. Who will look after his wife and two children?” he said.
Chander is survived by his wife Sunita, 26, and two children Upkar, 6, and Deepak, 4.
Both brothers worked on contract in private factories and earned Rs 6,000 a month. Together, they took care of eight members of the family. But now the burden will fall on Samar, who will also have to arrange Rs 35,000 for the cremation. “I will borrow from villagers and relatives for it,” he said.
In Uttarakhand, Dineshpur police station in-charge Inspector DR Verma confirmed that Chander’s body was brought to his village on Tuesday and cremated. “Another person from the area, Lekhraj, who had also received bullet wounds, would be back in a few days”, he said.
Another youth Rakshit who belongs to Bajpur area of the Udham Singh Nagar district and had gone to the dera at Sirsa is ‘missing’ since August 26.
With inputs from Abhinav Madhwal
First Published: Aug 29, 2017 21:03 IST