By- ROHIT ALOK, SANDALI TIWARI & KRISHNA UPPULURI
Gangrape convict Mohammad Qasim’s family wants to begin anew and shift to a home larger than their shanty abutting a CNG pump in Agripada. The family hopes for a lesser punishment.
“He grew up with sisters. He was always well-behaved at home, it is hard to believe that he would do this to a woman,” said aunt Zarina Khatun.
A school dropout, Qasim began to commit petty crimes at an early age, and was sent to a juvenile home four years ago. “Only wrong company would have compelled him to do something like this,” Qasim’s sister-in-law Rizwana said.
“Ever since the arrest, we have felt marginalised by our neighbours and those we speak to. I have lived in this house for more than 50 years, but now it is time to move on,” said Mohammed Jahanigir (50), Qasim’s uncle.
Inside court, all five men broke down. “I have been wrongly implicated. The police made me a scapegoat,” said Qasim.
Ashfaque Shaikh’s wife Nasreen is yet to break the news to her two minor children. “I have told them that their father is out on work,” said Nasreen. After the neighbours began condemning her, she moved to her mother’s place. “I do not know how long will I be able to live with my mother. I lost my job. My children have not been to school since his arrest,” she said.
At Salim Ansari’s home in Vishnu Nagar in Mahul Village, neighbours were watching the verdict live on television. “Salim is innocent. It was his friends who committed the crime,” said a neighbour. After Salim was arrested, his wife started working as a house help. “She feeds her children leftovers. The family is in a bad financial state. Sometimes, we give them food out of pity,” said the neighbour.
With inputs from