Husbands missing, they run from pillar to post

September 15th, 2008 - 6:03 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 15 (IANS) Every now and then, six-year-old Baby asks about her father who had promised to buy her a doll Saturday. Her mother Hemlata has no answers as she goes around hospitals and police stations looking for him. Hemlata’s 27-year-old husband Dilip, a small-time electronics parts seller in Okhla, had gone to Karol Bagh for a business deal that day. It was at this crowded central Delhi market that the first of five explosions took place Saturday.

“I am running from pillar to post but it is of no use. Police are saying they have no clue about my husband,” Hemlata told IANS Monday.

Hemlata has visited the Karol Bagh police station twice to register a complaint about her missing husband but to no avail. Police have told her on both occasions that there is no proof her husband went missing from that area.

“I have two small children and my husband was the only breadwinner. I have no idea where to search for him,” Hemlata said, looking exhausted.

Saturday’s serial blasts killed 23 people, and many are still desperately searching for their near and dear ones.

Rani, the wife of 37-year-old Ghaziabad shopkeeper Mukesh, has a similar tale. Mukesh was in Karol Bagh Saturday evening to get supplies for his shop but there has been no news of him ever since.

“His mobile phone is switched off. The person whom he met Saturday has no news of him, I feel lost. He used to travel to Gaffar Market every alternate day to get supplies,” 28-year-old Rani said before slipping into a daze.

Her two-year-old child tugged at her clothes, yearning for sleep. Seeing no reaction from her, it was Rani’s mother who cradled the crying child in her arms.

Clutching at his passport size photo, Rani has looked for Mukesh at the Ram Manohar Lohia, LNJP, Lady Hardinge and Gangaram hospitals - all of them places where victims of Saturday’s blasts are admitted.

Only Jassaram Hospital remains. If Rani doesn’t find him there, she will turn to the police to file a missing persons report. And there too, she may find the going just as tough.

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