Dusamad, who earned a living by sweeping seven buildings a day along with his 60-year-old wife, is now burdened with the responsibility of taking care of his son’s 25-year-old wife and the couple’s four children, all aged under nine.
Dusamad is from the Dalit community and hails from Haryana. He and his wife lived in a rented accommodation in a Bhayandar (East) building with Krishna and his family. His other son, also a sanitary worker, lives separately with his wife and two children. For the last one and a half years, Krishna had been working at Nagmani Jewellers, an imitation jewellery unit at Ushakiran building in the area. A group of at least 11 men, including the owner, who are now arrested, allegedly beat up Krishna, suspecting him of stealing raw material.
The incident was captured on CCTV camera and arrests have been based on it. The accused claimed that Krishna was an alcoholic and had pre-medical conditions but an official from Navghar police said the post mortem report showed the man died due to internal injuries caused by the beating. “He was bashed with a wooden plank, bat and iron rod,” said the official.
Meanwhile, Dusamad and his wife have not been able to return to work since their son’s death. Speaking to The Indian Express, he said, “My relatives are going to work on our behalf. I will join work after completing the 13th day rituals of my son…What was the need to murder a person who has been working for over a year with you? They lied to me that he fell down. Now police say he was murdered. I have no greed for money…I just want insaaf (justice) for my son and wish the government takes care of his children’s education. Only God or the government can help now,” he said.
Dusamad also wonders how long he will be able to fend for his family. “My son earned Rs 12,000. His wife is a homemaker and has to take care of the children. My wife and I earned Rs 20,000 together. We were saving some money for our grandchildren’s future. But now, I do not think we will be able to save at all. Their youngest girl is just seven months old while the eldest one is nine. There are two more children: an eight-year-old daughter, and a five-year-old son. Nobody from the government has contacted us so far. I have no idea if I will get any help from them,” he added.
After the family produced a caste certificate, the Navghar police on Wednesday added sections of the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, which will enable the family to get compensation. Arun Haldar, Vice Chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) said on Thursday, “I am looking into the matter and will see if any compensation can be given.”