An old man and his wife sat in a daze in a West colony as a garlanded photo of their son hanged on a wall. The boy’s smile in the picture is in stark contrast to the look on the face of his father- sombre, dejected and neglected.
Yashpal Saxena, who became a symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity when his son was bludgeoned to death by a Muslim family, is now a figure of lack of apathy.
23-year-old Ankit Saxena, Yashpal’s only son, was lynched to death in broad daylight in the national capital by his Muslim girlfriend’s family in February last year. The murder took a communal angle but the grief-stricken father put his foot down.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led Delhi government had promised the family Rs. 5 lakh compensation but they have not received a penny.
“We have yet not received any compensation. We repeatedly reminded the Delhi government, but they did not pay heed to it. The government has not fulfilled its promise,” Saxena told ANI.
Four months after his son was murdered because he loved a Muslim girl, Yashpal, to promote communal harmony, had organised an Iftar with his Muslim, Hindu and Sikh neighbours during Ramzan, the Islamic month of fasting.
“Am I not being compensated because I did not allow the incident to become communal? I wanted love and harmony to prevail between the two communities. Am I being punished for it?” the 60-year-old questioned. “Would the rift between the two communities have resulted in early compensation,?” asked the disappointed father.
Last year, a case was registered under sections 302 (murder), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against Akbar Ali, the father of Ankit’s girlfriend, mother Shahnaaz, a juvenile younger brother and uncle Mohammad Salim.
The Delhi police, in the charge sheet filed in the case, also stated that the murder was premeditated. Today, Saxena and his wife is a forgotten couple in grief, neglected by the governments and authorities, running errands to the courts for justice and mental closure.