Budhpal (L) lived with his wife and two children in Vijay Nagar
GHAZIABAD: In yet another tragedy brought on by the pandemic, a 30-year-old man died on Rakshabandhan (August 3) after being beaten up by the landlord of the house in Vijay Nagar in which he lived with his wife and two children. The deceased had failed to pay rent for four months.
Budhpal used to work as a daily-wage labourer and had lived in Ghaziabad for ten years with his family. The lockdown put him out a job and though he paid rent till April with portions of his meagre savings, after that, he could not afford the Rs 2,000 every month. By July end, he owed his landlord Rs 8,000.
“After the first week of April, he had used up all his savings for their survival. He had to depend on people who came to distribute food for every meal. Most days, Budhpal and his wife used to eat just once a day to ensure there is enough for the children,” said his brother-in-law Sushil.
With economic activities slowly picking up pace, Budhpal found work. In July, he paid Rs 3,500 to the landlord, Ishwar Singh, and asked for some more time to pay the rest.
On August 3, however, Ishwar went to Budhpal and threatened to evict the family if he failed to pay the remaining Rs 4,500. “He begged for a little more time but Singh’s wife and brother-in-law joined him and they started abusing and beating him. The brother-in-law Akash used a stick,” said Sushil.
Budhpal received severe injuries to his abdomen, testicle and penis, and died during treatment in a small private hospital in the locality the same night.
During the long months of stringent, destabilising lockdown, the district administration, the state as well as the centre had urgent landlords to not evict tenants who are unable to pay rent. With the phases of Unlock, however, did not come with such appeals.
Sushil said that Budhpal’s wife Reena visited Vijay Nagar police station several times but the SHO allegedly refused to lodge an FIR. “On Sunday, Reena met the district SSP, Kalanidhi Naithani. Only after that, the police agreed to file an FIR against the house owner,” he added.
Ishwar Singh, his wife Rajni and Akash have been named in the FIR filed under sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of IPC. “We will investigate the matter properly and then after arresting will be made,” Abhishek Verma, SP (City) of Ghaziabad