Son dies waiting for his father

When police whisked away Upendra Mirdha and his cousin from his Banjarikitira village in the wee hours of on Nov 14, his diabetic son Sushanta (16) hoped his father would be back soon. Policemen too assured them Upendra would be ‘back in five minutes.’ It took more than 12 hours to ascertain where they were taken.

A month later, Upendra, branded as a suspected Maoist is in judicial custody. And the son could not sustain the Type I deadly disease. Sushanta passed away on Dec 17 for want of treatment.

The family members were never told about the charges on which the brothers duo were being taken nor where are they being taken. Today Sushanta’s mother, Khati feels that his son would have been alive had his father been near him. ‘’He waited for him to come back home till he closed his eyes’’, she said with moist eyes. Ironically, two members of the Mirdha family had been killed by the Maoists on June 26, 2005.

Despite suffering from childhood diabetes, Sushanta was somewhat happy and looked forward to lead a normal life. The disease was diagnosed when he was in Class IX at? Girishchandrapur Sevashram School in Jujumura Block of Sambalpur district.

Repeated health problem forced his father to bring him back home and tend him. In the process the proximity of the father and son increased till the Sambalpur police took Upendra away.

The absence of the father aggravated the condition of Sushanta who was exclusively looked after and attended to by his father. Soon he began suffering from generalised anasarca and became skinny.

Although the doctors had referred Sushanta to Super Specialty Hospital, poverty and penury had left Upendra with little option except looking after him at home with whatever he earned from his marginal land holding besides working as daily wager.

Sushanta could bear no more and died waiting for his father.

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