Burnpur (Asansol) June 18: Ten-year-old Suman Roy couldn’t sleep last night — his mother wasn’t home to tell him a story.
For the first time in his life, the boy spent a night away from his parents.
His neighbour in Purushottampur village, Kartick Roy, another 10-year-old, is in the same predicament.
The boys’ parents are behind bars for trying to prevent the IISCO Steel Plant authorities from taking possession of land.
“Amar baba ma kothay janina. Kal raate ghumote parini karan ma amakey golpo boleni (I don’t know where my parents are. I could not sleep last night because my mother did not tell me a story),” wept Suman.
Kartick went around asking his neighbours where his parents were. He hadn’t seen them since yesterday morning.
“Ami kaal theke baba ma key dekchhina. Oderke khunje dao (I can’t find my parents since yesterday. Please find them),” Kartick pleaded with the residents of Purushottampur who had escaped the handcuffs and were continuing their campaign.
Suman and Kartick will not be able to see their parents for the next seven days as they have been remanded in a week’s jail custody.
But neighbour Lakshmi Roy, 40, who has been looking after the children, couldn’t gather the courage to tell them that.
“I told them that their parents have gone out of the village on some important work. What else could I do' How could I tell them that their parents have been sent to jail'” asked Lakshmi.
She said the parents of about a dozen children in Purushottampur were arrested yesterday.
Suman’s father Gangadhar, a daily labourer, earns about Rs 1,500 a month, while Kartick’s father Doyamoy runs a tea stall.
“Both Suman and Kartick’s families are poor and but their parents toiled to send them to school. Now, what will happen to these boys'” asked Lakshmi, who husband, too, is a daily labourer.
“When we had launched our agitation yesterday, we we had not bargained for such a situation,” said Ananta, Lakshmi’s husband.