HUMAN TRAGEDY: Old couple cry for justice

HUMAN TRAGEDY: Old couple cry for justice – no social security network in a conscienceless society in Bengal ?!!

Bharati and Phanindranath Karmakar at the district social welfare office on Thursday - education on humanity most important ?!! (Mithun Roy)

FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT

Balurghat, July 15: Harassed by their son, a couple in their seventies today knocked at the government’s door for justice, second time in four days.

Phanindranath and Bharati Karmakar of Baidyanathpara here complained to the district protection officer of the social welfare department that their youngest son Asit with whom they used to stay had been torturing them physically and mentally after getting hold of the land and bank balance.

“I was a goldsmith but cannot work now because of old age,” said Karmakar, sitting on the department premises. “We had divided our ancestral land among two sons and two daughters, all married now, and had been living with youngest son Asit.”

A few months ago, Karmakar had gifted the plot, which was in his name, to Asit to help him build a house. “I also handed him whatever deposits and insurance policies I had with the intention of spending the rest of our lives with him,” he said.

However, after he got hold of the land and the money, Asit allegedly started torturing his parents. “He kept on abusing us when we asked for food and heckled us. Finally, when we were thrown out of the house, we took shelter in a hut that we built on our own plot,” the father said.

As the couple went without food, their neighbour and panchayat samiti sabhapati, Lata Biswas, lent them with some foodgrain. By then, they had exhausted the Rs 8,000 that Karmakar had received as the artisan’s allowance. Their other children remained aloof all the while. The Karmakars came to know about the district protection officer and approached him on Monday. Deb Kishore Mukherjee summoned Asit, also a goldsmith, but the 35-year-old sought to downplay it saying it was “a minor issue of the family which will be settled”. The youth took back his parents home.

But soon after returning, the father alleged, Asit started the torture again, forcing the old couple to approach the officer today.

“On the first day, the son had admitted his fault and had assured me that the problem would be settled,” Mukherjee said. “But he did not keep his word. We have cautioned him and sent back the parents to home. If he tortures them again, a case under the domestic violence act will be registered against him.”

Asit, however, remained nonchalant. “It is a minor family problem. We will settle it,” he said.

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