The accused, who has allegedly usurped the victim's shop in Noida, has threatened her with his 'high contacts'; cops have been less than helpful
Time and again Noida police has announced that problems of senior citizens would be given top priority. But here is the case of a 65-year-old widow residing in sector-41 who has been running from pillar to post and cops seem to have little time for her.
Embroiled: (Top) Sumitra Gautam, her daughter-in-law Vineeta Gautam
Death and disaster
Sumitra Gautam, the complainant, owns a shop at Ganga shopping complex in sector-29, rented out by her husband. However, soon after his death in September this year, the family got a shocker. "After my husband's death, the financial condition of our family worsened. But when we went to ask for the rent, the lessee bluntly refused to pay," said Sumitra.
The shop in Ganga shopping complex, Noida. Pics/Mid Day
In order to leave the shop, Harmeet Bakshi, who runs a food joint there since 2006, allegedly demanded five lakh rupees and also threatened the victim with his 'high contacts'. When Sumitra went to file a police complaint, she says Noida Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Jyoti Narayan refused to help her saying this was a civil case and cops were helpless in such matters. "When we went to file a complaint, the SSP refused to meet us and only the complaint was accepted.
Later we went to his residence and met him. There someone suggested going and meeting the sector-20 station house officer. When we went there, he directed us to see the officer in charge at the sector-29 police post. For the past one week, we have been going from this station to that, but we haven't found any solution to our problem," said Vineeta Gautam, daughter-in-law of the complainant.
"We have recorded the entire conversation in which Harmeet is asking for money and threatening us of dire consequences if we didn't pay up. We don't have any other source of income. I am not even able to pay my son's school fees for the last two months. Giving him Rs 5 lakh for no reason is not at all possible," added Vineeta.
The other side
When MiD DAY contacted Bakshi, he first denied having demanded any money from Gautam's family to vacate the shop. When informed that there was an entire recording of all his conversation, he changed his stance saying that the complainant's late husband owed him some money and he was asking for that. However he failed to mention the exact time and circumstances when that money was taken from him. "I don't know who you are. This is our personal matter and I would not like to comment on the issue," said Bakshi before hurriedly disconnecting the phone. Gautam Budh Nagar SSP Jyoti Narayan couldn't be reached for his comments.