| Amarnath Chakraborty in front of his Shibpur Road home. Picture by Sanat Kumar Sinha
Amarnath Chakraborty, 85, had managed his meagre savings in a way that he would not have to be a burden on his son and daughter-in-law.
Today, he has to depend on a neighbour’s daily dole of Rs 20 to survive — and carry on a fight for justice against his son and daughter-in-law, who have allegedly cheated him of his life’s savings.
“Which father in the world can ever think that his son will cheat him, abuse him and assault him' That is what has happened to me,” said the resident of 64/5 Shibpur Road, Howrah.
The former superviser of Bhatia Electrical & Steel Industries retired in 1992 and got Rs 2.25 lakh in provident fund and gratuity dues. More than half that amount was spent on the treatment of wife Bela, who died of renal failure in June 1998.
Chakraborty deposited the remaining Rs 1.02 lakh with the Rashbehari Avenue post office in two joint monthly installment schemes (MIS) with son Partha.
Early this year, Partha withdrew the entire amount from the post-office account and denied his father a rupee from his hard-earned savings.
“Now, he has started torturing me and even stopped giving me food. My son and daughter-in-law are pressuring me for a property division with my brother. If I succumb, they will drive me out of my own home,” lamented Chakraborty, fighting a maintenance case against Partha.
The octogenarian first got suspicious after Partha refused to hand over the pass books of the two MIS accounts — one of Rs 48, 000 and another of Rs 54,000 — they held jointly. When he visited the post office, he was told his son had withdrawn the entire interest and principal amount.
Tapan Kumar Chattopadhyay, postmaster, Rashbehari Avenue post office, said: “If I had known the son wanted to cheat his father, I would have stopped payment.”
Chakraborty lodged a complaint with Shibpur police against his son in February. Police allegedly did not take any action as Partha’s wife Manasi is an “influential” DYFI member. “Partha withdrew money that was legally his due and not my father-in-law’s entitlement,” said Manasi.
Chakraborty filed a maintenance case in April and when Partha and Manasi received the court summons, they beat him up, he said. When he resisted their move for a property division, Manasi slapped a case of physical assault against her father-in-law.
“A sub-inspector from Shibpur police station abused me and gave me 15 days to meet the demands made by my son and daughter-in-law,” said Chakraborty.
Samarendra Das, inspector-in-charge, Shibpur police station, said: “I shall look into the matter. If any police officer has issued such an ultimatum, it is wrong.”