My name is Hemant Kumar Thakur, son of late Dilip Kumar Thakur. I live in Lucknow with my family of 5 including my mother, father and 2 younger sisters. My father retired from the Army in 2004 and decided to settle down in Lucknow for the better education of his 3 children. I have done my Bachelors in Biotechnology from UPTU after completing my schooling from Army Schools in different parts of India. After completing my B.Tech I have been working with HCL in Noida for the last 3 months and I was living my family’s dream as my father always wanted me to become an engineer. My father and all his brothers were in the Indian Army and after retiring from the Army in 2004, he started working in the Uttar Pradesh Purva Sainik Kalyan Nigam, Lucknow, but very soon he left that job as he got a better opportunity to work for his family and nation in the Bihar Special Auxiliary Police (BSAP), a special action force formed to fight the Naxals in Bihar.
My father was a healthy person as he had led a disciplined life in the army all his life and had a never-say-die kind of attitude as a person. With the same dedication and sense of responsibility, he served in 3 different jobs so that his family can live a happy life. When I began my job with HCL, I always thought of all the day-to-day problems our lower middle-class family went through before I got a job, and I always hoped that my family would see brighter days in the coming future. I was asking my father since the last 6 months to quit his dangerous job in the BSAP and come home as I thought that now I am big enough to take on the responsibility of my family on my own shoulders. But God had some other plans.
It was the 1st of September 2015, and I was happily waiting for my salary to be credited into my account. Suddenly my cellphone rang at 2:46 pm and I thought it might be from either of my parents who were always worried about me as I was living away from them. But it was someone else over the phone. It was my father’s staff who asked me to reach Bihar as soon as possible. I was told that he was very serious and in the hospital. I got afraid and worried about his well-being as we always had a fear about his life from the time he had joined that dangerous force in Bihar. I somehow composed myself and called my mother who was living in Lucknow and confirmed the same. I ran towards the airport to take the next flight to Patna but no flights were available before next morning, so I paid double the amount to a travel agent and got a seat in Bhuvaneshwar Rajdhani Express which was going towards Rohtas District where my father was posted. I was getting calls from all my relatives and that was making me more nervous but I was consoling myself that my father would be out of danger and he will be fine soon after treatment. But by the time I reached, he had passed away and his body was kept in a wooden box.
I was not able to believe that the person who used to call me thrice a day to ask about my well-being in Noida, was no more. His sudden death broke me into pieces. I cried the whole night lying on that box in which his body was kept telling him I had come to take him home.
The next morning I started questioning all my father’s colleagues one by one about the circumstances of his sudden death and how a person who used to take care of his health like anything die overnight. Nobody gave a promising answer and whatever they told me was something no rational person could never believe. His body was taken to Sasaram Sadar Govt Hospital for post-mortem where the doctor came after making us wait for 4 long hours. My father’s body was kept in the open for post-mortem as if he was of no importance to the authorities. That way, the doctor and the BSAP Officials made sure that his post-mortem was done simply as a formality. I now have a prominent doubt that they were trying to hide the real cause of his death as it’s been a month now and his post-mortem report is yet to come and nobody is telling us where it is.
My father was a brave person as he never made us feel that he was under any pain in doing things that made his family live happily. He served in the Indian Army for more than 20 years and was posted in the harshest geographical areas and also dangerous places where his life was threatened. After retirement, he saw that his children were still in school and needed his support to study and grow further. He then decided to join the BSAP. This force was formed by Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister of Bihar, to fight the Naxals, which was overpowering the power of Bihar Police. They are hiring retired Army persons as they were already trained in weapons and dangerous situations and are ready to use force. But these retired army jawans were treated very badly, they were forced to live in pathetic situations without light, water and food. They were even forced to make their own food. They also received a mere fixed salary of 12000 rupees per month and no pension after retirement, no benefit after death in war or on duty. My father died on duty and no one, either from the Bihar Police or the Bihar Government lent us any hand of support. No one is bothered about the death of the person who was everything for us. And even after so many deaths of these Army Jawans, the government is trying to cover up their deaths to hide the fact that they went wrong somewhere.
I just want to raise a simple question- is this how a person who had sacrificed his life serving for his nation and his motherland be treated? I lost my father, my mother lost her husband, my younger sisters lost their dear Papa, but the nation for which that person gave his life didn’t lose anything?
Who will answer my question?
Who will take care of his left-over, shattered family after his sudden death?
No one is ready to lodge an inquiry into what exactly happened to a person who talked to his family daily at 10:30 in the morning but died suddenly at 2 pm one day?
I live in a world where scams and forgery worth crores are being done and digested, but no one is there to come forward and even say few words of condolence to that shaheed ((martyr), who gave his life serving his nation.