Saheel Mollah from the non-descript village of Hariharpur in South 24 Parganas is all of nine years. His sister Mahima says: “Bhai is always talking about kites and flying. He wants to be a pilot and he is fascinated by everything that flies — kites, birds and planes.”
His father, Moiuddin Mollah, 33, a mason, says his son is a bright student who always comes at the top of his class. Flying kites is one of Saheel’s few indulgences, which he couldn’t afford. “I can barely afford to put my children through school. Kites and toys are luxuries when you can’t be sure of two meals a day,” said he.
Every day, we read reports of gruesome violence by one political party or another. Every day we think, this must be the limit. They won’t be able to stoop lower.
Yet every day, a new story tells us that when human beings sell their souls to religious or political fanatics, no depth is beyond them. And this is what happened to saheel.
It was a windy day and he badly wanted to fly a kite. It was also the end of the month, and he knew he couldn’t ask mother for the last scraps of his father’s earnings of ₹ 3,000. Then the nine-year-old’s eyes fell upon a flex poster fluttering in the wind, just the right size and material for a kite, he thought. Poor Saheel didn’t care that it was a poster of the Trinamool Congress (TMC), the ruling political party of the state. And he wouldn’t have known that it is a political party that represents all the goondas and sundry criminals in West Bengal today. He wouldn’t have known that the stupid, barely-educated chief minister of Bengal today does nothing to contain them. Rather, she pays them doles from government coffers so that they help her win elections after elections through shameless use of muscle power.
Saheel’s mother Sahana was home when his friends came rushing to tell her that six men had taken him away. She spent hours searching for him, going from house to house, before finding him in a ditch. “His head was swollen, his body black and blue all over. The doctors thought he might have (had) a serious head injury,”
When the TMC goons caught him Saheel committing the crime of tearing their poster, they grabbed him and started beating him. They took him to a local TMC leader’s home, tied up and gagged, and continued beating him mercilessly. Finally, they left an unconscious Saheel in a ditch near a field.
Will there be anything more gruesome in tomorrow's papers?
Kolkata || 03 May 2016
If you wish to read the entire story, please click here. Picture of Saheel and his grandfather - courtesy The Indian Express.