Hasanu Survived, Trust Died: Story Of A Victim Of Atali Communal Violence
By Ravi Nitesh
08 June, 2015
Hasanu and his wife Betulan at the hospital
‘We tried to convince him not to go back to village, as just last evening we somehow saved ourselves and reached here. But he did not listen to us as he believed that nothing will happen to him. Now, you can see what happened to him’, said Betulan, wife of Hasan.
During my recent visit to a communal violence hit village Atali, located in Ballabhgarh tehsil of Faridabad, Haryana, I met with the family of Hasan in Badshah Khan Hospital of Haryana.
Hasan who looks in his seventies is a 60 year old person who was on the hospital bed in almost sleeping stage, as he was unable to talk or even to see perfectly. His wife Betulan was sitting on the side with her eyes full of tears and his son who is an auto driver by profession was also sitting silent. On asking name the of the victim, Betulan told the name Hasanu. Probably, Hasan was the original name, but as we know the culture of Indian villages where we extend names of people to call it in more dearly tone, though I did not confirm it with the family.
Betulan told that her family was among those 150 families (approx) who migrated from Atali village to Ballabhgarh police station (12 km from village) on 25th May evening with the help of police, after an attack over muslim community members of village by large number of people. This was happened due to a dispute over construction of mosque. Their houses were burnt, vehicles were torched and stone pelting was done. As this family was one among them, like many others; they too came with police in Ballabhgarh police station to save their lives. They spent night there and in next day, when Hasanu waked up, he recalled his mistake. He recalled that though he came to this place and saved his life, but his cattle were at village. Being a villager who had cattle, he was just like any other common villager of Indian villages who love and consider their cattle as their family members. Even so many literature have been written in Indian short stories where cattle played main role in story characters. These cattle are not just a tool of revenue in Indian society, rather a living being with an emotional attachment along with mutual dependent livelihood and survival.
Hasanu, probably with all such emotions and attachment, insisted to return the village for sometime to see his cattle. Betulan emembered that he told ‘cattle will be hungry and thirsty and now there is no one who can give them food or water’. Family requested him not to go as the situation was not good but Hasanu insisted and with full confidence he told in his villager tone that he is an old man of 60 year old and that everybody in the village knows him. He is living there since long time. Nobody will harm him. Family somehow was convinced with the logic and allowed him to go. He too promised to come back soon after feeding the cattle.
Unfortunately, though Hasanu returned, but not to the family, instead to doctors in Badshah Khan Government Hospital. His wife told that when he entered in village, he got attacked by few people and they started beating him in the field. Somehow with his cry, police reached and shifted him to hospital. Wounds on his head were so severe. Cut over his body could be seen as evidence of many attacks probably with axe or any other sharp weapon. We could not talk with Hasanu, as he was unable to talk.
There was nothing to say to the family who had tears in eyes and a feeling of insecurity and fear. His wife told me that his blood soaked clothes are still there in hospital and she does not know when Hasanu will be fine and will return back. Though she knew that returning is the only option but she was unable to get back her feeling of security.
Though Hasanu survived, but what died, was the trust that he had before the incident. Any situation about his cattle is still unknown.
Now with the recent updates, migrated families returned to village after few negotiations with interventions of administration, probably Hasanu’s wounds on head, ear and body also got recovered and healed, but we are unanswered about wounds over trust that was broken.
Ravi Nitesh is founder of Founder-Mission Bhartiyam and a member of Gandhi Global Family, Peoples Alliance for Democracy and Secularism, South Asian Fraternity, All India Peace Mission Twitter @ravinitesh Blog ravinitesh.blogspot.in
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