THREE YEARS after the death of judge Brijmohan Harikishan Loya in Nagpur, his family members in Latur are still struggling to come to terms with their loss. While some of them have raised questions about the circumstances surrounding his death, of a heart attack at the age of 48, others told The Indian Express they have nothing to say except share their sorrow.
In Latur’s Padma Nagar, Padma Randad, the youngest of Loya’s six sisters, said, “We can never get past the grief of losing my brother. We don’t want to get into anything else.” Asked about claims made by her sister Anuradha Biyani on the death, Padma said, “I don’t know anything about what my sisters have been saying. We never got involved. They have been doing that on their own.”
Padma’s husband, Omkar Randad, a teacher in Gategaon, said, “We don’t want to talk about it. We are simple people leading quiet lives.”
Srinivas Loya, brother of Loya’s father Harikishan, told The Indian Express that his niece Anuradha had raised important questions on the events that followed the judge’s death.
When told that two judges of the Bombay High Court have said that there was “nothing suspicious” in the death, Srinivas said, “Then why was his family not immediately informed? They could have called his wife, at least.”
The Indian Express tried to contact Loya’s sisters — Anuradha Biyani, a doctor in Dhule, and Savita Mandhane, a teacher in Aurangabad — and their father Harikishan, all of whom had raised questions about the death in interviews to Caravan magazine. However, their cellphones were switched off. At Gategaon, 30 km from Latur, The Indian Express found Harikishan’s house deserted.
Srinivas said their whereabouts were not known even to close family members. “They have been out of contact for days now,” he said.
Asked about Ishwar Baheti, who according to Caravan was an RSS worker unknown to the family and who had contacted them after Loya’s death, Padma said that he was, in fact, “a friend” of the judge.
“Every time he came to Latur, he (judge Loya) would visit three doctors, Dr Chetan Sarda, a general physician, Dr Jaju, a pathologist, and Dr Hansraj Baheti, a urologist, for regular check-ups,” said Srinivas.
Dr Baheti, the brother of Ishwar Baheti, however, said he did not wish to talk about the issue, when contacted by The Indian Express.
Lawyer Balwant Jadhav, former vice chairman of the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa and a Shiv Sena leader in Latur, said, “Several judges attended Loya’s funeral including High Court judge R C Chavan.”
When contacted, Justice (retd) Chavan said, “Brij Loya was an excellent and upright judge. I was very fond of him and was disturbed by his untimely death. I travelled to Gategaon from Mumbai to attend his funeral.”
Despite several calls and a text message, Loya’s wife Sharmila Loya was unavailable for comment.