एक फौजी की पुकार
Lying on his bed, Mahendra Pandey broke into tears while speaking with me – “सर, मेरी मदद कर दो। मेरी कोई नहीं सुन रही है। उनके पिताजी पुलिस में सब इन्सपेक्टर है। वह लोग मुझे जान से मार देंगे। “ (Sir, please help me. No one is listening to me. Her father is a sub-inspector in police. They will kill me). The soldier who was ready to die for us in remote parts of the country was dying on his bed and I could hardly do anything other than giving him some tips to keep up his moral. His case was reported to me as he was feeling suicidal and in a recent tweet expressed his desire to commit suicide because no one was listening to him. Despite his sustained prayers and court orders, UP police were not taking any action against the culprits who threw him from the rooftop of his house and broke his bones. They left him there to die. Today, brave heart CRPF Jawan Mahendra Pandey is bedridden with hardly any hope of recuperating from his deadly fractures.
क्यूंकि बीवी है बेकरार
When India was celebrating the success of one of her soldiers – Abhinandan, on his triumph over Pakistan, Mahendra was praying to everyone for justice and was fighting his death in his house in Prayagraj (Allahabad). He was brutally attacked by his wife and her family members after he caught her having sex with her sister-in-law (sister’s husband) in the middle of the night.
On 20th March 2018, when Mahendra went to bed, little did he know that he was about to encounter a life-changing event that night. Around 12:30 am when he didn’t find his wife in their room, he went around searching for her and found her having sex with her sister-in-law Anil Kumar Shukla. Soon a big scene was created, and his wife called her family members. Next day morning her family members came to their house around 8 am and an altercation started that took a very ugly turn. His wife along with his brother and uncle threw him from the rooftop of the building leaving him dangerously hurt with broken limbs. His wife and in-laws left him there to die.
All other family members of Mahendra lived nearby but in different houses. When they came rushing to his rescue, he was already half dead.
और पुलिस है लाचार
But Mahendra’s trouble didn’t end there, as his family members went to register a police complaint against his wife and in-laws, police first refused to take the complaint and instead started blaming them. Mahendra says it is because of his father-in-law who also works in UP Police and is pulling all his strings together to stop local police from registering a case.
“सर मेरी पत्नी साक्षी पाण्डेय का पिता विनोद कुमार मिश्रा सभी को बचाने के लिए पुलिस वालो के पैरो पड गिर कर सोर्स लगा कर कार्रवाई नही होने दे रहा है।“
[This is part of a very popular ‘Adultery’ series on TMF
Read all articles of this series – here]
कोर्ट की फटकार
After trying his luck with local सोराँव police when he failed to register any complaint, he had to go to Allahabad District Court. Accordingly, Bench #1 of the court has passed an order on 6th October, 2018 directing the local police to register cases against his wife Sakshi Pandey and three of her accomplices Sushil Kumar Mishra (her uncle), Jay Shib Mishra (brother) and Anuj Mishra (brother) under ‘suitable criminal sections’.
However, even after this order when Mahendra’s family went to the police station with the court order, police has filed FIR under sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (insult with an intent to provoke breach of peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation) and did not file the FIR under IPC 307 (attempt to murder). Despite pursuing with them, police didn’t register a complaint under ‘attempt to murder’ which was the case.
Upon close examination of the police FIR however it was found that there was no mention of the 20th March 2018 incident, instead the police FIR mentions that there was a dowry harassment case (IPC 498a) already going on against him and on 16th January 2018 there was a counseling where Mahendra agreed to take back his 498a wife and started living together.
The FIR also stated the details of the incident of 21st March 2018 when Mahendra was pushed from the rooftop of his house. It is stated that when his in-laws came to his house there was a huge altercation and they blocked him in the rooftop by closing the door.
सब है बेकार
Ever since this incident, the Saoraon police didn’t help him. So, Mahendra has been appealing to the Uttar Pradesh CM Shri Yogi Adityanath and Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to save his life as his in-laws were threatening every other day to kill him.
He has been posting photographs of his bedridden condition to these leaders and UP police officials in the hope of getting justice. When I asked him why he didn’t take help of CRPF to pressurize police for registering an appropriate case against his in-laws, he told that CRPF has shunned their responsibility stating that this incident happened while he was on leave and not on duty. Hence this has become a civil matter and should be solved in a civil way by the local police. However, CRPF is taking care of his expensive medical treatment –
Ever since he started seeking the help of the world after failing to get any hope of justice from police, hardly any media or news channel took up his case. One local news channel did cover his case without any improvement in the situation –
Failing to get police taking any positive step to give him justice, Mahendra then went to the Allahabad High Court and from there on 18th December, 2018 he obtained an order from the bench of Honorable justice Bala Krishna Narayana and Justice Sanjay Kumar Singh directing the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) of Allahabad to personally look into the matter and ensure speedy and expeditious investigation. The court has also directed the police that from the medical records submitted before the court, a case under section 307 of IPC (attempt to murder) be registered against the accused.
Despite the court order of continuing investigation under section IPC 307, he has not had any luck so far. As he said and tweeted many times about it that the police is even not listening to the High Court order and did not register any case under section IPC 307.
However, even after three months of a continuous fight, this CRPF jawan is not seeing any ray of hope to get justice. Despite court orders in his favour no one took positive steps to ensure justice and he alleged that even after three months of the order, 307 procedure has not started.
पुलिस की मिथ्याचार
Police are not listening to him and are playing around with him is very clear from the UP police response regarding this matter.
In reply to his tweet showing his wife and her sister-in-law’s photo where he alleged about the incident, UP Police has first sought his number and then mentioned that he was not responding properly.
However, when I asked Mahendra why he didn’t respond to police calls, he mentioned that UP police did call him on 15th night at 3 am (16th Morning) but he was sleeping so could not take their call. It is important to note that the UP police first wanted his number on March 13th but took more than two full days to even contact him. Point to note here is that, UP police expected a completely bedridden and almost dying person to respond to their call in the middle of the night.
This apathy tells us clearly how much respect we have for our soldiers. How much the government mechanism work to ensure the safety and security of these jawans who are ready to even lay down their lives for us, for the safety and security of every one of us. The irresponsible tweet of UP Police showing people that they did take action, but it was Mahendra who didn’t respond also shows that Mahendra’s allegation of police taking side with his wife and family to be true.
ख़ुदकुशी करे जवान हमार
However, army men not getting justice in civil matters is not new. Many of them resort to committing suicide. In January 2019, Minister of State (MOS) for Defence, Dr. Subhash Ramrao Bhamre told the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Indian Parliament) in a written reply that as high as 80 Jawans from Indian Army, 16 from the Indian Air Force (IAF) and 08 from Navy committed suicide in 2018. In 2017, the number of army men committing suicide was 75 and in 2016 it was 104. The reply also stated that among other preventive measures the Army is providing better facilities for their soldiers and introduced yoga and meditation.
In a report, The Week reported that army men kill themselves more in peaceful situations rather than they get killed in combat situations. What is more intriguing to note that one of the major problems of army men killing themselves is family dispute like marital discord or land problems.
अब कुछ करो यार
Even though the minister of state for defence Dr. Bhamre told our parliament about the preventive measures taken by the government to prevent the suicide of our men in the Defence services but these measures seem not to be enough. When it is known that most army personnel commit suicide in peace situations and family problems is a major reason for their suicide, it is important that the government looks at the civil procedures for these soldiers. At least in the situation that Mahendra is in today could be averted. Police are clearly not helping him and playing around with a handicapped soldier. A soldier who takes the bullet on his chest for our safety is not safe in his own family, an institution that needs to secure them the most. In the current situation, his employer CRPF has washed their hands off the incident saying it is a civil matter. When he needed their help the most, they refused to help. How would one feel motivated enough to die for his country, when his country doesn’t bother about his life? And in this regard do we civilians have any responsibility for our soldier brothers?
I will leave it to you to decide what we can do as a society for the welfare of our soldiers. That last thing we want is to have these men dying every day because of their family problems and cheating wives. Hope sanity prevails soon.