Date: 15 Mar 2008


Who will return my hands, asks this victim of 'Goonda Raj' 

Amarnath Tewary | Siwan 

His only fault was that he was a penniless Bihari and he reached Pune to eke out a meagre existence on the roadside pavements of the city. His both hands were chopped off by the Bihari bhagao shouting brigade of Maharashtra. But he asks - Who will return my hands?

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut might have "put the issue to rest", but Srikishun Singh lying on a bed in a hauntingly empty general ward of Siwan Town Hospital wants his both hands back, which were amputed by a group of MNS workers.

In the nauseating stench of the hospital ward Srikishun Singh, 37, while trying to cover his both hands inside a thin, foul smelling, blanket told The Pioneer that his both hands were chopped off while he was asleep on the pavement near Pune railway station. His wailing wife Durgawati Devi is her lone companion here.

"I was sleeping on a pavement, some 2.5 km away from Pune railway station when a group of people shouting, 'Go away, go away...Biharis go away', attacked me and I fell unconscious" said the terrified Srikishun Singh as tears roll down his cheeks.

To escape poverty, Srikishun Singh had left his Dudha village in Siwan some ten years ago and has been selling eatables in Baroda. He had reached Pune just one-and-half months ago in search of greener pastures.

Later, when I regained my consciousness I found my both hands chopped off and an old man making a bandage over them. The old man too asked me to flee away from here as soon as possible, he said.

"With excruciating pain, I somehow reached the railway station and caught the first train to reach Baroda where I've been working for the last ten years. From there, I boarded the bogey meant for handicaps in Sabarmati Express and reached Lucknow and again I took Vaishali Express to reach Siwan", said Srikishun Singh.

Traumatised Srikishun Singh remained confined to his village and got treatment from local village doctors until someone got him admitted to the Siwan town hospital on March 1.

Since then he has been lying there with streams of visitors - politicians of all hues, policemen and mediapersons. They all promise all kinds of help, but nothing has come in his way so far. 

His wailing wife Durgawati Devi appears hapless about her future with a handicapped husband and two little children. "I do not know how my family will survive now as he was the only earning member of the family. We're poor people and we'll starve to death for want of any help," she said.

"But now I'll never return to Maharashtra", said Srikishun Singh emphatically. The hospital has constituted a four-member team of doctors to look after Srikishun Singh. "We're giving him antibiotics and dressing his hands. Healing is a natural process and we cannot say anything at this stage," said Dr Sudhir Kumar Singh, deputy superintendent of Siwan hospital.

"Prima facie it seems that Srikishun Singh's hands were chopped off but matter should be probed properly," the Siwan SP, Sunil Kumar told The Pioneer.

Meanwhile, a two member police team from Pune comprising Assistant Commissioner of Police Sangram Singh Ishandar and a sub-inspector rank official too has visited Siwan to investigate the incident.

However, Singh is not the only one who has to bear the brunt of anti-Bihar campaign.