She died waiting for justice
SHE WAITED for justice till her last breath, said the inconsolable mother-in-law, Rani Ram Kumar Bhargava, as the news of Mehar Bhargava’s death shocked the city.
Reactions poured into newspaper offices as family members completed the hospital formalities in Delhi to bring ‘her’ back home tomorrow. They echoed ailing Rani’s sentiments, “Mehar battled for life for almost a month hoping to get justice. But while she has left us totally dejected, the culprits are still moving scot-free. This can’t continue any more. She has to get justice.” Mehar was quiet a known face, very active, agile as an advocate besides a party-goer.
What anguished Rani was Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav’s indifference. “He knew both Luv and Mehar as he used to frequently visit our home during Charan Singh’s days. But he did not bother to enquire about her health after the incident”, said Rani, the only family member who remained in Lucknow because of her poor health. However, the Chief Minister’s Office was quick to send his condolences today.
Mehar was shot at after she resisted the lewd comments passed by Sachin Pahari and Amit Singh at her daughter-in-law Kavita on February 28. The bullet had hit her on the neck. After some initial treatment at Lucknow’s SGPGI, Mehar was rushed to Apollo, Delhi. Till her death she was in a semi-pralaysed state.
Whenever she regained consciousness, she had put only one question to her husband, “Have there been any arrests”?
Sachin and Amit had gone to one KD Singh’s house in Dilipur Towers. They were coming out of the building when the incident took place. KD Singh is a gangster and understandably has links with Dhananjay Singh, SP MLA, and the all-mighty Raghuraj Pratap Singh. Perhaps under pressure, cops did not pursue the case, providing ample time to the assailants to shift to a safe hideout.
The police swung into action only last week after public pressure mounted on them. The police, knowing little about the whereabouts of the culprits, had procured property attachment notice against Sachin. One police team was also dispatched to Pithoragarh, Sachin’s native place.
After, the shooting incident, two youths, who were not even present at the spot, were arrested.
Meanwhile, the Congress too failed to get action in the case, as they remained bogged down with politics.
UPCC president Salman Khurshid today said, “She symbolised the woman of today, fighting for her right. And she sacrificed her life to ensure civil behavior”.
Rita Bahuguna Joshi said, “ The incident further proves our contention that women are insecure in this regime.”
LU Professor Nishi Pandey said,” Mehar was always very gutsy.”
On Saturday SHO Hazratganj DK Rai said separate police teams were camping at Jaunpur to trace Amit Singh while another had arrived Sachin’s native place at Thal area of Pithoragarh.
In Delhi, Congress president Sonia Gandhi visited the hospital to offer condolences to the aggrieved family. She also offered all help to the family to fly Mehar’s body to Lucknow. Congress workers and close relatives descended on the Apollo hospital. They plan to campaign against the Lucknow police.
Meher’s only fault was that she asked the drunk men to apologise as they had made lewd comments at her daughter-in-law. “One of the men said sorry and shot her,” said Mehar’s sister-in-law Shilpi Bhargava.
On Saturday, a large number of relatives gathered at the hospital. “I am still wrapping my mother’s body, there isn’t anything that I can say,” said Mehar Bhargava’s daughter, Farah. The Bhargava family is angry and disappointed with the investigation done by Lucknow police. “They did not do anything and are not even ready to co-operate with us. My daughter-in-law has seen the culprits if only they would act on our complaint,” said Luv Bhargava.