Sarita’s daughters: in and out of orphanage despite a fatherAugust 2nd, 2008 - 10:42 am ICT by IANS
By Jaideep Sarin and Alkesh Sharma
Rohtak (Haryana), Aug 2 (IANS) They are the daughters of Sarita, who committed suicide alleging rape by policemen. But the trauma is far from over for Heena, 4, and Muskan, 6, who have been in and out of an orphanage twice in a month in spite of having a father. The little girls are caught in the crossfire between their father Subhash Chander and the Rohtak district administration.
While Subhash says Heena and Muskan were put in an orphanage in Bahadurgarh town near here without his consent, the administration says he is after the money that the government announced for the welfare of the girls.
Subhash, who is illiterate and unemployed, has accused Rohtak Deputy Commissioner R.S. Doon of not delivering what was promised to him by the Haryana government.
“The commissioner had promised to give me a government job so that I could look after my daughters and admit them in a good school. But till date I have not got any job despite visiting Doon’s office several times,” Subhash told IANS.
“I am trying to meet the officials of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as I do not know whom to approach and sense a threat to my life from the local police,” said Subhash.
The CBI is now looking into Sarita’s suicide. She killed herself June 9 after allegedly being raped by head constable Balraj and constable Silak Ram of the Rohtak crime branch April 10 when she had gone to the police station in connection with her husband’s detention in a theft case.
Subhash was released in the days after Sarita’s rape. But ever since, things have turned topsy-turvy for the family, especially the girls.
“There is no one to help me or look after my daughters as the commissioner sent my daughters into an orphanage in Bahadurgarh near Delhi in the name of quality education and better upbringing,” alleged Subhash.
The girls were first admitted to the orphanage in early July.
“Only orphans are staying there in very miserable conditions, so I brought my daughters back to Rohtak.”
But Deputy Commissioner Doon dismissed the allegations saying Subhash was just trying to take undue advantage of the situation by concocting stories against the authorities.
“Nobody had promised to give him a government job. I was in South Korea at the time of this incident, so how could I promise him anything? On humanitarian grounds, I had arranged a job for him in a rural development agency but just two days after that he refused to do that job,” Doon told IANS.
“Subhash gave it to me in writing that the job be given to his brother instead and the authorities did give it to his brother Jaiveer,” added Doon.
An embarrassed Haryana government had earlier announced payment of Rs.500,000 for Sarita’s daughters to help them in future; Rs.250,000 each was deposited in a bank in their name, Doon pointed out.
“Rs.21,000 was given to Subhash June 14 as immediate relief and we offered him assistance in admitting his daughters to any of school of his choice.
“But he showed helplessness in bringing up his daughters, so we offered to admit the daughters at the Apna Ghar shelter in Bahadurgarh. He wants the bank money to be given to him, which rules do not permit,” Doon said.
Doon added that after visiting the Apna Ghar personally, Subhash gave his consent in writing and the girls were admitted there July 8. “But on July 10, he brought his daughters back without informing anyone,” the DC said.
“We do not know where he kept his daughters between July 10-26. He again went to Bahadurgarh and readmitted his daughters there July 26. Two days ago, he again took away his daughters and started giving false statements against us,” Doon said.
Officials say Subhash wants to remarry and that is why he abandoned his daughters. “He must have had a change of heart later,” one district administration official said here.
Sarita’s case made headlines as she committed suicide inside the office of a senior police officer at the Haryana police headquarters in Panchkula in June.
Sarita took the unusual step to highlight her plight after the state police, especially those in Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s hometown here, refused to register a case against two of their own colleagues who had allegedly raped her inside a police station.
But her sacrifice, which showed the gory face of the state police, has not brought any relief to the little girls.
(Jaideep Sarin can be contacted at email@example.com)