Nana Patekar's cook on fast
A 32-year-old man quit the job of a cook with film actor Nana Patekar in Mumbai and is on dharna at Jantar Mantar here since January 9 to prove that he is alive, sitting with a placard in Hindi which reads: "Main zinda hun." His struggle is to retrieve his 12.1 acres of land in Chittoni village in Varanasi district that was usurped by his cousins declaring him as dead.
Santosh Singh says he has written to the president, the prime minister, the UP chief minister, Varanasi district collector and the National Human Rights Commission about the false records but got no relief. He wanted to more the High court but had no money to hire an advocate.
He has permission from police to stage dharna at Jantar Mantar, the protest venue near the parliament house, for only eight hours, though he spends whole of the day on the footpath there with only a blanket to protect from the bitter cold and free cups of tea from the street vendors, except when he goes to a nearby Gurdwara to have a free meal in the langar.
CASTE VICTIM: Santosh claims he was out-casted for falling in love and marrying a dalit girl in Mumbai in 2003 and as it happens in such cases in Uttar Pradesh, the villagers refused to recognise him after cousins got his name removed from the land records as "dead" to grab his property.
He does not want Nana Patekar to get involved in his case as he says the actor has already helped him a lot. It was back in 2000 that Nana went to his village to shoot the film 'Aanch,' when the unemployed Santosh approached him for a job. Nana took him as a cook in his house.
Santosh says his cousins keep threatening him to kill with the police help to make him really "dead," and recalls how they used the police contacts to get him locked in Virar Jail at Nala Supara in Mumbai for two days and tortured by a sub-inspector. "I can never forget that inspector who beat me so badly. He even branded my hands with a hot iron and warned me of dire consequences if I continued to protest."
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