Irrespective of the immediate reasons that drove youth, students and others to premature deaths “for the cause of Telangana”, it was a moving sight when the bereaved family members of victims cried their heart out at a public hearing conducted by Telangana People's Tribunal here on Saturday.
For Bhukya Mangilal and Magatiya, in the autumn of their lives, their lone son Praveen Naik was their only hope for living a better life in their remaining days. The Mangilal's ‘dhoti' was testimony to his poverty. The couple's dreams were shattered when their son hanged himself for the cause of Telangana on November 30, 2009.
“We were hopeful that he would get a job as he had completed B.Ed. But, when the movement for Telangana peaked, he attended a couple of ‘dhoom-dham' programmes and ended his life,” Magatiya told the jury of the tribunal. The elderly couple from Bhoopa thanda in Warangal district was not the only such pathetic tale at the public hearing. There were many such accounts that moved the jury.
Retired Judge of Bombay High Court B.G. Kolshe Patil, social scientist K.T. Gandevia, writer from Bundelkhand Maitreyi Pushpa and Monish Tamang of Delhi University comprised the jury. They stated that their exercise was to collect information on suicides for Telangana and prepare a report. Speaking at the hearing, Mr. Patil said it was commendable that most of the victims' families had spurned the offer of money by politicians, though they were from working class.
“I am convinced that suicides were genuine for the cause of Telangana, in spite of doubts to the contrary,” he stated.
To submit report
The jury would prepare a report and submit it to a tribunal comprising Kuldip Nayar, T.N. Diwan, Kolshe Patil, Anwar Majee and B.D. Shane, said P. Niroop Reddy of BJP, coordinator of the people's tribunal.
The report finalised by the tribunal would be made public within a fortnight of Srikrishna Committee's report to the Centre, he noted.