Jyoti Ghag for BeyondHeadlines
My Dad’s cousin’s children Arvind, Ketan, Rohini to whom we never saw after year 1971, all of a sudden reappeared in our life after 27 years around January 1999. Meena was the one who introduced Vilas, Paresh and Sushma to these three cousins first time. Their reappearance in our life was disturbing, especially knowing that Ketan has habit of going around sniffing in relatives’ family problems and instead of helping mitigating the problems, turning the situation to his financial benefit by putting more fuel in it. Meena first made Vichare Aunty to reappear in our life and now she brought these three culprits in our life which we knew is a bad news. Dad was not very happy with any of them either but decided to ignore them all together. He tried to enjoy his retired life in peaceful manner in his own home and we rest of his five daughters took turns in visiting and spending time with him. All of us tried to make our 84 years old, gracefully aging Dad as happy as we could.
We didn’t realise that Sushma, Sunanda, Meena developed so much hatred towards Dad for cutting them off from his hard earned property that they hatched plan to murder him. Interestingly, to ensure that Dad stayed in house arrest Regular Civil Suit No. 1410 of 2001 came to be filed at Thane Court on 31st July, 2001 seeking relief of injunction against Dad’s children except Paresh and Meena. Before I could grasp the gravity of the situation, Dad was physically in house arrest at his own home. He initially wrongfully and illegally kept in detention in his own home and subsequently murdered through physical and mental harassment between July 2001 and December 2002. The evil act physically was carried out by the Sushma, Sunanda, Meena and Rohini the niece to whom my Dad helped with her college education.
These murderers got Vartak Nager Police officials full support because of Vilas’s hold in Mumbai Police Department and got active legal assistance from criminal lawyer Ketan and from Thane District Court officials because of Katen’s influential relations with a leading Politician from Maharashtra State. Their ulterior motive of Dad’s Murder was to usurp his entire estate which he had earned during his life time. And other motive was to stop Dad from pursuing legal remedies against Mr. Shirke for laundering money through my SB/NRE Dena bank account.
Dad was very active physically so he always preferred to do all his business related work on his own without asking any assistance from any of us. Interestingly the mentioned Regular Civil Suit was filed on the basis of a Power of attorney on Paresh’s name also dated July 31, 2001, the date on which the regular Civil Suit No. 1410 of 2001 was initiated. Paresh was surviving physical, emotional, mental abuse in hands of Sushma, Meena and Sunanada since the night of his wedding. The copy of Paresh’s personal dairy clearly indicates that Paresh was not in a stable mind before and after the execution of the power of attorney dated July 31, 2001. In fact, although his personal diary has detailed recording of each and every minute of his personal life there is absolutely no mention about the power of attorney dated July 31, 2001 which was a very important aspect of his life. Presumably being fully aware of his mental state of mind, Paresh was used as a pawn by Ketan, Sushma, Meena and their associates to cover up their illegal activities.
In fact, the mention legal proceedings were initiated under the name of my Dad on July 31, 2001 to ensure that the police complaint dated 12/7/2001 made by me would lapse and would not be acted upon. The execution of the power of attorney and the initiation of the Regular suit both on July 31, 2001 is absolutely contrary to the factual records particularly the letter addressed by advocate Sunil Patankar for and on behalf of my Dad which was also counter singed by Dad wherein there is categorical mention about the physical and mental harassment caused to him by Sushma, Meena and Paresh.
Interestingly in the process of regular civil suit No. 1410/ 2001, Dad’s lawyer Mr. Patankar was conveniently replaced by lawyer Mr. Prashant Kadam who practices at Thane District Court. Mr. Kadam is a very close associate of Ketan. It did not occur to me the time that Mr. Patankar may have been playing part in the conspiracy of my Dad’s murder. He came forward to represent us Sisters in said civil suit. Around 8/8/2001 we appeared in Thane Court for first date but as I expected there were no show from the other party. During that same afternoon my long lost cousin Ketan threatened me on lawyer Mr. Prashant Kadam’s mobile that if I try to meet my Dad and try to take him back to Washington then Vartak Nager Police would arrest and put me behind bars under charges of abduction of my father.
I did try filing complaint against Ketan at Vartak Nagar Police station but then in charge inspector Mr. Ramesh Shivdas not just refused to take my complaint but warned me about staying away from my father’s home informing that Thane court has issued injunction order against us five sisters on that day.
I was positive about Thane District Court not issuing any court order against us because neither party were called upon to face any Judge on 1st Court date around 8/8/2001 or on any other date. Sushma, Rohini, Meena, Ketan and Vartak Nager Police Inspector Mr. Shivdas were threatening me with this so called court order every time I tried to meet Dad at his Savarkar Nager, Thane Bungalow but none of them showed the order even after repeated asks. I was shocked to see the false document Dated 8/8/2001 which Sushma produced at Hon. Bombay High Court Judge Mr. R.Y. Ganoo’s Court in July 2010 during probate hearing as a copy of Injunction Thane Court order against we sisters.
This Piece of paper doesn’t have Thane court stamp dated 8/8/2001 neither is signed by any designated Thane court authority. Mr. Kadam and Mr. Patankar created this false document with their sign to help these murderers in illegally restraining my 86 years old physically, mentally fit Dad in his own home.
Until November 2002 I was drawing different conclusions about Lawyer Mr. Patankar’s involvement in Dad’s illegal restrain but in my December 2002 India trip I became clearer about Mr, Patankar’s role in my Dad’s illegal restrain. He kept refusing my repeated requests of letting me appear in front of Thane court Judge. I wanted to bring out the whole truth of my Dad’s illegal restrain in hands of Ketan, Prashant, Sushma, Meena and Vilas. Between July 2001 and December 2002 in those 18 months I made number of trips to India to rescue my father but unfortunately ended up helplessly witnessing escalated physical, emotional, mental, verbal abuse towards him in the hands of Sushma, Sunanda, Meena, Rohini and Vartak Nagar Police.
The heart-breaking fact is that Meena being Dad’s own daughter introduced Arvind, Ketan, Rohini to Sushma and Paresh with having ill intention towards Dad and rest of us seven siblings. Until January 1999 Paresh was not even aware of the existence of these three cousins who are as old as being his Grandparents. My parents helped Ketan, Rohini with their lodging boarding and student expenses when they were in collage in Mumbai around 1950’s, decades before my birth. All I knew about their family is that their Parent’s our Uncle, Aunty had stormy past and their children were being helped often by my parents. My Dad being financially stable in the family was back bone of his siblings and his cousins till 1965. Irony is my Dad helped Ketan get his Law degree, who knew??………
That decades’ later Ketan would use that knowledge to conceive a plan of Uncle’s murder, the same Uncle who nurtured him like a son.
My Dad was a typical army man who always been physically fit and mentally, emotionally strong. I witnessed him crying only two times, once on 20/10/1985 when he suddenly lost my mom, his life partner of almost forty years. And second time I remember seeing him in tears on 23/12/2002 when he was lying on Lok hospital’s ICU bed helplessly. Those were heart-breaking experiences for me. After being retired from police force Dad served for the local community till the day his murderers kept him illegally restrained in his own home. He played important role in bringing lights, water and building roads, schools, public bathrooms, funeral centre in Veer Savarkar Nagar which is a small community in Thane city near Wagle Estate.
Everyone used to recognise him as “Saheb”. He survived physical, mental, emotional torture for seventeen months. He never saw sunlight or breath in fresh air after July 28, 2001. He was kept in most of the time in a store room of his own Bungalow with no light, fan, clock, calendar, TV or any other amenities. No human even maid was allowed to visit that store room accept his murderers and their associates.
He was forced to eat, urinate and defecate most of the time on his 6 x 2 foot bed which they later put it in the living room of his Bungalow. I tried few times to enter Dad’s home forcefully but either I was thrown out of Dad’s home compound by Vartak Nager police or Sushma and Sunanda her mother ended up beating me and my Dad. I still remember the way my Dad used to yell my name for help when each time he was punished with beating or more torture for my aggressive act in getting forceful entry in his home or in his room. I begged Thane Court officials, Vartak Nagar Police, Thane Commissioner Police officials, Mr. Patankar for help in all those seventeen months, all of them not just refused to help me in rescuing my Dad from his abusers saying that Thane Court has issued order against we five sisters but also refused my repeated requests of showing me that court order.
Around the third week of December 2002 I requested one of my nephew Mr. Nihar Ghag to help me with rescuing my Dad from his abusers. Nihar is a criminal lawyer talked to Paresh over the phone around morning of 22/12/2002 and requested having meeting with my Dad. He informed me that Paresh agreed to bring Dad out for the meeting around 23/12/2002 morning, at some place away from Dad’s home. I was very excited with the idea of meeting my Dad after sixteen long months.
I decided to spend the 22nd December’s night at my sister’s place in Mira Road because that place is relatively close to my Dad’s home. But after Nihar’s phone conversation in regards to my meeting with Dad, the situation changed for worst in no time. Interestingly we received disturbing phone call on 22/12/2002 late night around 12.30 from Rohini saying that,” Dad is in ICU at Lok Hospital Thane. It would be ok for me to meet him in the hospital as long as you are not disobeying Thane Court order by entering his home.”
I was very disturbed with her attitude but was more concern about my Dad. I rushed to Lok Hospital almost immediately but couldn’t meet Dad till next morning. Around 23/12/2002 morning his attending doctor allowed me to see him. Dad was thrilled to see me even after being in lot of pain. He managed to tell me how he survived physical, mental, emotional torture in hands of Sushma and others, namely Sushma’s mother, Meena, Rohini, Ketan, Prashant Kadam and the local police officials.He also told me how Sushma, Meena, Ketan and their lawyer Mr. Prashant Kadam harassed him every time for refusing to sign different court papers, bank transaction papers and property papers.
Dad was holding me against his chest almost entire time of that only meeting. He looked so fragile that I was afraid of crushing his bones even with my light hug. I witnessed bruises on my father’s face, arms, stomach so asked Dad’s trusted physician Dr. Day who had a private practice but also happened to be Lok Hospital’s visiting doctor to inform the local police about suspicious bruises being on my father’s body. Interestingly Dr. Day and the other doctors who were attending my Dad denied informing local police.
I knew Vartak Nager police being equally responsible for Dad’s condition won’t entertain me so tried reaching directly to the Thane Commissioner Police officials but they refused to take my complaint. Unfortunately I couldn’t do much about that fact as had to leave India in next couple of hours on same day for having the family emergency back home in Washington. I was very restless for leaving my Dad in helpless condition. I was constantly being in touch with his nurses rather than his Doctor as I found couple of Nurses taking care of Dad like their own father. After experiencing Vilas and Meena’s influence on Dr. Day and his unethical, inhuman behaviour towards my Dad I was very concerned with Dad’s medical treatment, his life and dignity.
I learned sometime around 31/12/2002 Dad sleeping into semi-coma and in spite of my repeated request to Meena, Vilas and Sushma about not removing Dad from respiratory machine on ground of escalating hospital expenses, he was removed from the machine around 1 /1 / 2003 morning and surprisingly Doctors allowed him to get shifted to general ward . I was very disturbed with that information because Dad had more than enough money for getting treated with entire medical team with their medical equipment’s in his own home, the way he always wished for. Still Dad’s abusers not just removed Dad from machine but shifted him to general ward when he actually wanted help to breath. The next morning around 2/1/2003 I learned from my cousin Mr. Sudhakar Ghag that my Dad had passed away.
I couldn’t believe that the 86 years old physically unconscious but mentally aware human being was getting killed in broad day light and no one from the hospital staff even his own daughter Meena came forward for his help.
I wished to fly India and claim my Dad’s body but was not able to get reservation on any flight. I requested Meena and Vilas to keep Dad’s body in a morgue till I reach Mumbai so could be there for his final ritual and to say proper good bye to him. I informed Meena, Vilas about being ready to bear the entire cost of morgue and his final ritual but they were aware about my suspicions surrounded with his un-natural death so denied my every request.
I wanted to have autopsy, the report which could have been a strong evidence of his physical torture. Vilas being seasoned police officer knew that I definitely will go for the autopsy or could suggest my elder sister who is a medical Doctor to get done the procedure so he took the precaution. Sushma, Meena and Vilas were so much under pressure of getting exposed with the crime of killing my Dad , that all of them made sure none of his other six Children or his close relatives, friends could get close to his body or could able to attend his last ritual.
These murderers locked Manish up in his bedroom for entire time and in spite of him being elder and favourite son of Dad didn’t even allow him to participate in Dad’s final ritual. My younger sister and I couldn’t get reservation to fly to India on time. My eldest Sister who is in Baroda Gujarat State was informed by Shirke Couple that they planned to cremate Dad within an hour after getting his body in their custody. So there was no point for her to leave home knowing the distance between Mumbai and Baroda. My two other sisters who resides in Mumbai reached Dad’s home and were stopped on door step by Meena, Mr. Shirke and Sushma.
It was few neighbours and relatives who helped my sisters and their family members eventually to enter Dad’s home to see him before getting his body rushed for the cremation. There were so many friends, relatives and well-wishers of my Dad who wanted to pay last respect turned down personally by Sushma. I was constantly talking to Dad’s two close friends during his entire funeral but neither them could help Manish. I attended Dad’s “Dasava” around 11th January 2003 and met his best friend Mr. Vasant Gole in that ceremony.
Gole Uncle was II World war Veteran and Dad’s junior who reconnected with Dad when we moved to Thane from Naigaon Bhoiwada Police officers’ quarters in May 1973. Gole Uncle gave me a big envelope with copy of my Dad’s registered Will and a file of papers. Uncle also conveyed my Dad’s message, “Please let Jyoti know that these documents may help her.” I was not sure then what exactly Dad wanted to tell me but today those documents are being very vocal with Dad’s murder and with Manish Paresh’s on-going torture.
Sushma, Sunanda, Meena, Vilas, Ketan, Rohini, Prashant and Vartak Nager police of being fully aware that all the daughters of Dad were married and were not residing with him, ensured that the two sons Manish Paresh stayed physically with him were given mental, emotional and physical harassment on a continuous basis so that they never complained against the past and present illegalities committed by them in regards to Dad’s murder and their abuse. After surviving years of on –going physical, mental, emotional abuse Manish and Paresh even though being college graduates having established businesses till year 1998 have become penniless and can be termed as the person who has lost their mental balance. Paresh at least getting fed and dressed well because their abusers want to present him in the society being normal and also want to keep him alive till Dad’s entire property legally changes on his name. But these murderers are not at all concerned about Manish because he never existed for them even before Dad’s murder.
Manish couldn’t handle witnessing Dad being abused to death and around 2 weeks after Dad’s murder he had his first emotional breakdown. I admitted him to Dr. Vatwani’s Shradha Nursing Home at Borivali, Mumbai between January 2003 and June 2003 for six months. Manish came home from Borivali Hospital being emotionally sound and physically strong but couldn’t sustain Sushma’s abusive behaviour for long and had relapsed. I flew back to India and admitted him to Dr. Ratnaparkhi’s Manasvardhan Clinic at Pune around February 2005. As on date Manish is fully dependant on me for his survival including medical, hygienic needs and basic needs such as food and clothing. It was getting so much difficult for me to be far away from Manish and take care of him. I wanted Dad’s Will to be executed so Manish could get his share from Dad’s property the way Dad wished for.
During reading of Dad’s will Meena and Sushma personally raised their objection to his Will so I ended up filing for probate suit at Bombay High Court around year 2005. I also decided to file complaint against Sushma and her associates to Home Minister Mr. R. R. Patil’s Mumbai office. Mr. Patil sent my complaint with written remarks to Thane Commissioner of police Mr. D. Shivanandan. Because of my past bitter experience with Thane Police officials I personally met Mr. D. Shivanandan with the one more copy of my complaint dated 30/4/2005 which had the remark of Mr. Patil directing the Commissioner of Police, Thane about looking into the matter personally.
(The writer, Jyoti Ghag, daughter of second World War veteran & retired (1974) Mumbai Police Officer.)