|Pakur SP’s father CM Balihar,
widow Suman Lata, daughters
Shalini and Aparajita and son Avinash at their Pathalkudwa residence in Ranchi
Picture by Hardeep Singh
|It hurts to
think my son’s sacrifice has been forgotten so soon
Courage in their genes, all three children of Amarjit Balihar want to join the police force. But, an oblivious government is doing little to help.
The Pakur SP’s widow, Suman Lata, and her septuagenarian father-in-law sat quietly in their drawing room on Wednesday evening, staring at the intrepid policeman’s photographs framed and kept on a corner table at their Pathalkudwa residence in Ranchi.
Five agonising months had passed since the braveheart fell to Maoist bullets in Kathikund, Dumka, triggering a slew of state promises for the family. Not a single had been kept. Fortunately, the family isn’t suffering from the canker of poverty, but chief minister Hemant Soren’s unkept word on the higher education of Amarjit’s children makes its members wince in pain and insult.
Suman Lata, the principal of Teachers’ Training College, Chitarpur, broke her silence after 10 minutes, which seemed longer because of the uneasy calm. “Abhi tak humlog wait kar rahe hain ki CM hamare bacchon ke padhai ke liye kuch madat kare,” she said, her voice listless.
She recalled that after the Pakur SP died in battle on July 2, Hemant had visited Pathalkudwa and asked what he could do for them. “We were not reeling under any acute financial crisis. But, my primary concern was our children’s future. Professional courses incur huge expenses. I had apprised him of my concerns and he had promised that his government would take care of things.”
Amarjit Balihar has left behind three teenaged children, besides his wife and elderly parents. His eldest daughter Aparajita is 18 and is pursuing a BBA course at BIT-Mesra; her sister Shalini (17) is a plus two commerce student at Kairali School; and their brother Avinash (15) is a ninth grader at St Xavier’s School in Doranda.
“We are proud of our father and hold his profession in the highest esteem. I want to become an IPS officer,” said Aparajita.
The teenager, after completing her three-year graduation, will have to crack the UPSC examination and would need private coaching, which is expensive.
“I am working hard on my own too. I hope to clear the competitive exam in the first attempt,” the gutsy girl added.
Piped in Shalini: “It is one of the toughest jobs and my father dedicated his life to it. I had once confided in him about my interest in becoming a police officer. He was so glad. I want to fulfil my promise to him.”
The slain SP’s father, retired additional district magistrate C.M. Balihar, said he felt deeply disturbed by the government’s amnesia.
“Amarjit was my eldest son. I was close to him. He laid down his life in the line of duty and the state promised to take care of his children’s education. No support has been extended so far. It hurts to think my son’s sacrifice has been forgotten so soon,” the senior Balihar said.
Satish Balihar, the SP’s younger brother and a section officer in the state social welfare department, iterated what his sister-in-law and father said.
“Our priority is the future of the children. But, we also want the CBI to probe the death of my brother. This promise too has remained on pen and paper,” he added.
The Ranchi Municipal Corporation had planned to name Dangratoli Chowk after Amarjit Balihar, but the proposal too has been put in cold storage for reasons best known to the civic body.
When do you think the family will get the promised help? Tell firstname.lastname@example.org