VASCO: 80-year-old Indira Halarnkar who was declared dead by her daughter-in-law, now has an army of Baina locals fighting for her. But this is not a recent fight. For nine years Indira has been fighting to prove that she is alive and get her rightful ownership of the house which belonged to her late husband
Locals of Baina took to the streets and threatened an intense agitation and morcha, against the Mormugao civic body, till the octogenarian is restored her “alive status”, gets her name back on the voters' list, and her house which her daughter in law transferred in her name, after managing to pronounce her mother in law “dead”. The house was originally in the name of her father-in-law, who had passed away.
Anil Chodankar, President of the Murgaon Taluka Senior Citizens Forum, had applied in 2016 seeking an inquiry as to who transferred the house in the name of Indira’s daughter-in-law following the death of Indira’s husband.
“The house named after my husband should be named after me. I want to die in that house. After that, anyone can use the house or the government can take over,” said Indira, who resides near the Housing Board Colony in Baina.
“My name was deleted from the voters’ list stating that I had passed away. The dole under the Dayanand Social Security Scheme was also stopped. However, when Jai Prakash Amonkar learned about this, he took the initiative to re-include my name on the voters’ list. My daughter-in-law tried to wipe out my name, by stating that I had passed away. But it was not possible due to Jai Prakash and others,” Indira said.
“When the roof of the room started leaking during monsoon, Jai Prakash put tarpaulin sheets. He has been doing this for the last three to four years,” said Indira.
“I was beaten up from time to time. The house named after my husband should be named after me. For nine years, I have been going to Mormugao Municipality to get my rightful home. But in vain,” she said.
Social activist Jai Prakash Amonkar said, “If the house is legally in the daughter-in-law's name, then we should get those documents. Otherwise, there is a need to take action against the officials of Mormugao Municipal Council and others, who illegally transferred the house in the name of Indira’s daughter-in-law. We will not remain silent till justice is delivered to Indira. The daughter-in-law, who assaulted her elderly mother-in-law, should be booked.”
Chodankar also briefed about how the forum helped her. In this regard, he had filed a complaint against the daughter-in-law under the Maintenance and Welfare Act at the Mormugao Deputy Collector’s Office. After three years, the Deputy Collector had directed to pay Rs 10,000 per month to Indira and get the house repaired.
He said, “The daughter-in-law has not yet repaired the house. We have taken some documents under RTI in which the house was illegally transferred by the daughter-in-law in her name. It is clear that the MMC officials have also transferred the house to daughter-in-law without proper investigation.”