Truth Behind Bhanamati

Nigadi is a residential area for industrial workers working in Pimpri Chinchwad industrial belt.  A family member staying in this area contacted local unit of ANS and stated that for last five months lemans cut into half dipped into kumkum and coconut pieces were found in front of his house.  Some times the milk kept for boiling was spoiled due to mixing of salt.  The members found that clothes were in tattered condition.
During the initial stages they called Mantrik who claimed that he had power to stop all this nonsense. In this bargain family lost 15-20 thousand rupees.  But even Mantrik could not stop the horrendous events.  Whole family was in the grip of fear.  Ram Nalawade a wellwisher of the family suggested to contact ANS and said that ANS will   find some solution to this calamity.
Mr Nalawade and I along with my wife Anjali went to the place where Bhanamati was supposed to be happening. The family consisted of four members; father, mother, a son and daughter in law. Father was employed in Bajaj Tempo and his eyesight was very poor. The son was an autorikshaw driver. He married a year back and is busy with his duties. Father and mother were afraid of the events happening in their place. We explained the method by which the investigation would proceed and took an undertaking from them. We suggested that no one should contact Mantrik.
We called each member of the family individually and took their statements and recorded them. The statements given by the family members were studied and we came to the conclusion that the daughter in law may be responsible for these events.
After a day or two the father showed us a chit stating that the family should vacate the place immediately, otherwise they might face the consequences. In the past also the family received such chits but they were burnt. This time the chit was handed over to me. We started comparing the handwriting style of each member and found that the daughter in law’s handwriting was similar to that in the chit. My wife and myself once again went to the place and interviewed the daughter in law separately. We told her that our investigation pointed towards her and unless she stops this we will be forced to handover    to the police. Even then she did not budge. One day my wife alone went and stayed with the family throughout the day and talked to the daughter in law in detail. She found that the daughter in law was feeling lonely after the marriage since her husband never bothered to take her out. In that frustration she thought that putting things in this way might make her husband to take her out for walking or to some movies. I once again told her that this was not the way to solve the problems. However she should stop these things forthwith, otherwise she would be put in jail. She was convinced and gave us in writing that she would stop all these things. We suggested to her husband to spend some time with the wife since she was feeling lonely. We told the members that these things will not happen once again and forget that such things happened in this place.
Whenever we handle the case of Bhanamati we should take into confidence all the affected members and try to find out the problems rather than conduct routine investigation. Our activist should be like a family counsellor who has all the sympathy for the affected   and should gain the confidence of the family members. Though such incidents have greater news value we should not publicise the facts.   If we restrain, we will win the confidence of the suffering members of the family.