Missing man’s return puts brother in dilemma

June 29th, 2010 - 5:52 pm ICT by IANS  

By Asit Srivastava
Lucknow, June 29 (IANS) A man, who married his brother’s wife after he disappeared, now faces a dilemma - the missing man is all set to return home after being freed from a Pakistani prison.

Rajeshwar Gautam married Phool Kumari one and a half years ago, years after his elder brother Shambhu disappeared in 2005.

For years, they kept hunting for Shambhu. Eventually, the family assumed he was dead, and Gautam married Kumari, his sister-in-law.

In due time, they had a son, on top of a daughter Maya his brother and Kumari had from their earlier marriage.

Recently, the police told Gautam that his brother had been traced in a Pakistani prison. He had been released and was now warded in an Amritsar hospital.

Shambhu is about to return to his home in Uttar Pradesh’s Kushinagar district, but Gautam and Kumari just don’t know how to react after meeting him.

“I should celebrate it or curse myself for marrying the wife of my brother… I and Phool Kumari don’t know how to express ourselves,” Gautam, 29, a resident of the Lakshmipur Padrahwan village, told IANS over phone from Kushinagar, some 300 km from Lucknow.

“I am feeling guilty… Believe me I married Phool Kumari owing to pressure of family and other relatives… We had lost every hope of meeting Shambhu… We even registered a missing complaint with the police,” he added.

Kumari said: “He (Gautam) is very caring… particularly for Maya, the six-year-old daughter I had from my previous husband… I don’t know which way to go… I have left everything to the Almighty.”

According to the family, Shambhu, who was not mentally sound, went missing in 2005.

“He (Shambhu) started having some mental problems in 2002, around two years before he got married to Kumari. Despite undergoing treatment, there was no improvement in his condition. He somehow managed to get out of the house and went missing,” recalled Gautam.

“A few months ago, some officials of the Local Intelligence Unit (LIU) and police informed us that Shambhu was in Lahore Central Jail,” he said.

Later, the police informed Gautam that Shambhu has been admitted to the Institute of Mental Health in Amritsar, after his release by the Pakistan government June 23 at the Attari border.

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