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A house under cancer's shadow

There is something eerie about a sprawling VIP bungalow in Tughlaq Lane. Many of its high-profiled occupants succumbed to cancer and even their recourse to Vastu Shastra could not ward off the 'evil', reports Sarat C Das.

delhi Updated: May 30, 2008, 23:56 IST
Sarat C Das
Sarat C Das
Hindustan Times

It is believed that there is something eerie about a sprawling VIP bungalow in Tughlaq Lane, New Delhi.

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Over the years, many of its high-profiled occupants have succumbed to cancer, according to numerous media reports.

Justice M Srinivasan was amongst those who had resisted the rumours and decided to move into the Tughlaq Lane house.

However, he died of cancer after shifting to the ill-fated house. The former Chief Justice of India, YK Sabharwal, who also had a stint at the same residence, lost his wife during their stay there. A media report also claims that Justice RV Ravindran's in-laws passed away soon after shifting there. Even his daughter developed a cancerous growth on her tongue.

Another resident, Justice Ashok Bhan had discovered that his wife contracted cancer soon after shifting there, prompting him to vacate it right away. A lot of people, who had been offered the house, declined to take possession because of the fear factor.

Some occupants even tried making changes in their way own way. After consulting Vastu experts, they even resorted to closing a particular room, but in vain. However, the security attaché related to the current occupant Gen Nirmal Chander Vij, rubbished these stories, stressing that all the earlier deaths imputed to that house could be a mere coincidence. Gen Vij, who took over as the Chief of Army Staff from General S Padmanabhan on Dec 31,2002, is known as Indian Army's most consummate strategist and a Kargil war hero.

On promotion to the rank of commander, Vij served as General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Command. During that tenure, he had personally supervised the rescue and relief operations in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Gujarat.

As DGMO, Vij also conceived Operation Khukri to rescue trapped elements of the Indian peace keeping contingent, which was part of United Nations force in Sierra Leone. It was during his tenure as commander of India's only Dimapur-based counter insurgency corp that the United Liberation Front of Assam militants started surrendering in big numbers, which rendered the movement virtually ineffective.

A valiant person like Gen Vij certainly has kept all the stories about the 'infamous' dwelling under wraps. But how the house could have such a large number of cancer victims could never really be explained.

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