Disaster Before the Third Wave

by admin on Sep 17, 2021

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Schools are finally opening up after eighteen months of being closed due to the pandemic in Northern India, where our centres are currently located for underprivileged children. The children are really excited about the return to school. It’s been a while and they miss learning and the social aspect of school life, like all kids around the world. After all preparations were done at the Lucknow centre, I headed to my village centre which helped underprivileged children from remote villages, mostly from the lower caste. We were all so excited after the long break but our joy didn’t last long.

Our car was stopped by a group of ten police personnel with guns pointed at us. We were taken to a deserted house and phones were confiscated immediately. Our driver and two of our caretakers were taken inside a room. I was instructed to stay outside with two policemen guarding me. After a while I was called inside the dimly lit room with a single bulb that hung from the ceiling. To my horror I saw both of our staff lying on the ground and the police were beating them with canes, boots and punches. Six of them were beating two people. I could not believe what was happening and shouted at them to stop! I told them there must be some confusion as we are not criminals and asked them to stop beating them. Their beating was brutal using maximum force. I attempted to hold the officer’s hand and he got furious and punched me in my face. I sat on the group in great pain. My right eye was swelling immediately as they continued to torture our driver. When I resisted, they pushed me and proceeded to take me out of the room. These police inspectors were in plain clothes. One of them turned toward me.

I quickly introduced myself to clear the confusion. The other officer screamed at me and told me he knows everything about me. He was aware that I am helping helpless children for the past twenty years. He said “You are a good person but your driver and his friends are using your car in your absence to rob travellers”. I was so shocked! I have known our driver to be a person of great integrity and on the day of the robbery which they told me was on the 23rd July, he was actually with me. I tried to convince the police but they behaved harshly and told me to shut up. It seems our only misfortune on the day of the robbery was that our car passed the place of the incident around the same time. The police made the wrong assumption that we were the culprits without any clear investigation. Now they were forcing our driver to admit to the crime that he had not committed. They held all of us overnight.

The driver admitted that he was telling the truth, despite all the beatings unfairly given to him.

The next day they told me to show them some of our staff. They told me that if the complainant clears them all, all our staff will be released. Next day they travelled with me in two cars to our Lucknow centre. They met our older boys and our guard. They took the guard with me to the police station for investigation. When we reached the police station, I was surprised to see the police officer who were travelling in the other car, take two of my boys along in the car. The complainant came and told the police officers that these people were not involved in the incident. It was a great relief, after two nights and one day at the police station. They released me and promised to let go of our staff and the two boys after some documents were completed. Still, the worst was yet to come.

They charged two of my boys and my driver for the robbery and sent them to jail. Before I realized their intentions it was all too late. They had framed them for a crime they did not commit. I understand from the locals that there was a lot of crime recently and the police were under pressure to solve them. As they could not find the culprits, they decided to fix the case against us and were now claiming they had solved the crime. The third day I hired a lawyer. The lawyer told me that for this particular criminal act bail is not granted from the lower court. It will take at least fifteen days to bail them out. I cannot tell how it feels to see your child in custody. It is the worst thing that has ever happened to me. My heart was bleeding for them, innocent people in the hands of police that were corrupt and brutal. My boys wanted to meet with me in the court but were stopped by the police. They greeted me with teary eyes. They were presented before the judge as I was watching the proceedings, feeling helpless. I wondered what we had done to deserve a fate such as this?

To everyone’s surprise, the judge granted bail for both the boys and the driver. I noticed the judge scolding the police officer. After such an ordeal I managed to smile and encouraged rest of my children. Now I had to go through rigorous and tedious processes to get my boys and our driver out. Half the battle was won, thanks to the wisdom of the judge who checked the false allegations made on my innocent driver and children. I was in fear of the arrival of Covid19 third wave but the wave of betrayal, conspiracy, corruptions and police brutality hit us so badly sinking our spirit and family morale. Dear family and friends, I am feeling better after sharing my plight with you all. Please continue to pray for us and for all other helpless and poor people around the world who are exploited in so many ways, simply because they are weak and they have no one to fight for them. My children were easy targets for the police to frame them in a false manner as they are considered orphans.

Love you all. Ravi.

AN UPDATE A FEW DAYS LATER:

Thank you all! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

Your prayers were effective and powerful. My boys and the driver were released about an hour ago.
We all cried together but after a while smiles are back. Finally we are under one roof, reunited with the family!

I can rest now but not for too long, just enough to regain my energy to fight against discrimination. They picked the boys who were orphan and from the lower caste, assuming that no one will be bothered for them. I am determined to teach them a lesson. My complaints have already reached the Cheif Minister of the state and the Police officers are questioned. As a result the Inspector has gone on a long leave.

I have no words to thank you all for your encouragement, love and care for my children.

In deep deep gratitude,

Papa Ravi

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