The Chowdhurys at the social welfare office in Malda on Wednesday. Picture by Surajit Roy
Malda, Feb. 25: An elderly couple today approached the district administration for justice after they were assaulted and driven out of their home, allegedly by their elder son.
Prasanta Chowdhury and his wife Nibha, residents of Bachamari Colony of Old Malda, visited the district magistrate after they were beaten up and driven out of their home allegedly by their elder son, Prabhat.
The district magistrate of Malda, Sridhar Ghosh, has directed the couple to meet social welfare officer Pratyaparna Sinha Roy to whom Nibha, 58, unburdened herself. “My elder son and his wife have already taken two bighas of land that my husband had. Now they want him to write off all we have. Since he refused, we are being regularly tortured,” she said.
The Chowdhury Senior used to run a garment business along with Pradip, their second son who lives in a different house. “However, about eight months ago, my husband decided to stop the business because of infirmity and we went to live with Prabhat,” Nibha said.
Yesterday evening, Prabhat hit his 65-year-old father with a cricket bat after an argument over property and this morning, the couple were driven out of the house. “We decided to turn to the administration as we were afraid of more humiliation,” Nibha said.
As the couple was roaming on the road, a neighbour advised them to go to the collectorate as a law to protect the rights of senior citizens has been implemented.
Sinha Roy said a case had been filed against Prabhat in the subdivisional office under the provisions of the Senior Citizen (Maintenance, Protection and Welfare) Act, 2006 and also under Section 207 of the Indian Penal Code that dealt with fraudulent claim to property.
“We will finish the hearing in three months and the subdivisional officer will deliver the verdict. If the charges are proved to be true, the accused could be jailed up to six months. The son will also have to return the property taken by force and provide maintenance to the parents,” the social welfare officer said.
Today, a summon had been issued to Prabhat. Under the provisions of the act, the accused cannot appeal in a court but can approach the district magistrate for redress.
The district magistrate said after the Chowdhurys met him in his chamber this afternoon, he instructed the subdivisional officer and the social welfare officer to take up the case and then take appropriate action.
Prabhat, however, denied the charges. “I never laid hands on my parents. The charge is baseless,” he said.