Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ashok Santra’s horrid death in Srinagar depicts Hindu fate in India best

This is a gruesome tale and revolves around the incomprehensible and shocking death of Ashok Santra, resident of village Santoshpur, P.S. Jangipara, District: Hooghly, West Bengal, in Srinagar. The death, to be precise, is not normal at all and a few creepy and unanswerable questions (regarding death) perplexing the neighborhood manifest horrendous situation Hindus in India face these days. It is to be noted that Ashok Santra, s/o Mohan Santra and father of two little daughters, was a worker in a local jewelry shop and as per locals, his professional expertise was highly admirable.

Sheikh Muzaffar, longtime friend of Ashok and also engaged in the same industry, owns a jewelry shop in Srinagar, capital of the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir. He made a proposal to Ashok – to handle the shop in Srinangar, pay him a set amount of money every month and have rest of the income as his own. Considering the proposal quite mouth-watering, Ashok went to Srinagar on 18/01/11. The following days of Ashok have got to be accepted as good since there was no complaint from his part to the family.

On 12/02/11 at 9 pm Ashok phoned his wife and the talk among the couple centered on casual issues like his preparations for that night’s dinner. After a few moments he said his wife that some of his friends were calling him. And the phone of Ashok was switched off. It was the last communication between Ashok Santra and his family in Bengal.

Next day, 13/02/11, Sukur Ali, brother of Sheikh Muzaffar, informed Ashok’s family that Ashok, getting intoxicated, fell from stairs of a house (close to Ashok’s abode in Srinagar) on last (12/07/11) night, and got heavy injury in his head. He also informed that Ashok’s condition, due to the accident, was at stake. The news was enough to send a shudder through the backbone of Santra family and when Sukur was phoned before long, he asked Ashok’s family members to reach Srinagar without delay.

Ashu Santra, brother of Ashok and also a jewelry worker working in Delhi, was informed by Ashok’s family of the incident soon and he reached Srinagar via plane on 14/02/11. Ashu went directly to Sher-I-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Soura, Srinagar, where Ashok was admitted. He perceived Ashok, alive till then, in a serious condition. Ashu talked to doctors in the medical institution, was informed of seriousness of Ashok’s situation and also that nothing could be said clearly before the next 48 hours. And after next 48 hours, Ashok’s situation worsened further. No friend or well-wisher of Ashok could be found at that time.

On 18/02/11, Sheikh Muzaffar and Khokon Santra, young brother of Ashok, reached Srinagar and both along with Ashu went to the location of said accident (of Ashok Santra). Local people confirmed Ashok’s fall from stairs. However, 3 Hindus there preferred to remain tight-lipped.

On 22/02/11, Ashok Santra succumbed to death at 10.15 am finally. Both of his brothers, Ashu and Khokon, were firm to take Ashok’s deceased body to Santoshpur and their insistence annoyed Muslims, including Sheikh Muzaffar, heavily. The reason of their annoyance is yet to be known but strikingly Kashmir Goldsmiths Association, under auspices of Muzaffar, agreed to pay an amount of 2 lakhs to the bereaved family of Ashok only if the deceased body was cremated in Srinagar. What was the reason? Were local Muslims desperate to hide any cruel truth? Did Ashok, being a Hindu, become victim of ghastly design?

Meanwhile, villagers of Santoshpur back home in Hooghly, Bengal, exerted pressure on Sheikh Esrael, father of Sheikh Muzaffar, to transport corpse to the village soon. Muzaffar, hearing all these, surprisingly, stopped rendering any form of assistance. To put an end to wastage of time, Rs. 50,000 was submitted to ATM account of Ashu for fast deportation of the corpse. Because of this, the corpse was carried to Kolkata by aircraft and from there to Santoshpur.

Mohan Santra, father of deceased Ashok, talked to Officer-in-Charge, P.S. Jangipara in the intervening time. But the response of police was indeed misleading. Not only Mohan was informed that it had already been late but he was also precluded from moving farther. As per Tapas Brati Chakraborty, then O.C., timely information could have led to post-mortem examination of the corpse in Srinagar.

When the corpse was brought to Santoshpur, a 1 ft. (at least) long deep wound (stretching from navel towards the chest) was found. This made villagers suspicious of factors behind Ashok’s death. But nothing could be elucidated by aghast brothers of Ashok, Ashu Santra and Khokon Santra. The corpse was cremated in the village conforming to Hindu religious rituals.

But the incident refuses to end here since a few questions, remaining unanswered yet, have come to the fore.

  1. Who were Ashok’s friends calling him in the fateful night?
  2. Why was such an intoxicated person not escorted while coming down through stairs?
  3. Who did admit Ashok Santra to the hospital?
  4. Why Ashu Santra could not find any well-wisher of Ashok in the hospital?
  5. Why did 3 Hindus working in jewelry shop in Srianagar, hailing from Midnapore, prefer to remain tight-lipped on the whole?
  6. Why was Kashmir Goldsmiths Association ready to pay amount of 2 lakhs to the bereaved family of Ashok? Does cremation of a Hindu in Srinagar matter to Muslims in Kashmir still?
  7. Why did Sheikh Muzaffar stop helping the entire procedure all of a sudden?
  8. What was the reason behind 1 ft. long deep wound in Ashok Santra’s body?
  9. Why was Mohan Santra prevented from proceeding more?
  10. The post-mortem examination could have been done in Bengal too, if not in Srinagar. Why was local police reluctant to conduct it then?
  11. Was local police influenced by Sheikh Muzaffar and his cohorts already?
  12. Was Ashok’s kidney or any other organ taken out meanwhile? Was the deep wound resembling any form of clandestine surgical operation?

Without a shred of doubt Ashok Santra became a victim of venomous Islamic revulsion to Hindus. Circumstantial evidences point towards the same, indisputably.

Would other Hindus going to Kashmir have to share the same fate?

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