Girl Name- ANITA BAWA (Victim)
P.S- City Gurdaspur
FIR No. 89
Date of Murder- 14/05/2012
Date of FIR- 15/05/2012
Mr Janak Rani (W/O) Late Kartar Chand
Relation with Victim - Mother
Address- Dr. Marwah wali Gali, Ranjit Pura, Chherretta,Amritsar,Punjab
Mr Surinder Bhalla ( Husband) Alias-TINKU (S/O) Hardayal Singh
Mr Varinder Bhalla ( Surinder’s Brother)
Mrs Raj Rani (Mother in –Law)
There are times when you want to do so much for the change of society but being a common man the only thing you can do is write and leave it to the mercy of media and authorities to take notice and do something about it.
I woke up to take Monday’s blue by storm without realising that there is another storm brewing up in the city of Gurdaspur (Punjab), which will create havoc in life of lot of people. People I have nothing to do with, People with whom I was barely connected. The date was 14th May, 2012, 29 years old Anita Bawa, who was 6 months pregnant was brutally murdered by her husband (Mr. Surinder Bhalla) and here in-laws. Anita’s mother & Varinder Bhalla (Surinder Bhalla Brother). Mrs Janak Rani, a widow, who was in Delhi to attend her sister’s funeral was oblivious to what has happened to her own daughter.
Mrs Janak Rani , ( mother of Anita Bawa) a retired nurse from the Amritsar Mental hospital, always used to remain worried about the well being of her only daughter.
On the very first night of their marriage her husband Surinder Bhalla told Anita about his (Surinder’s) extra marital affair with another lady which started before his marriage
and warned her not to interfere in his relation with that lady. To Anita’s surprise she found that Surinder’s family was supportive to his affair.
Since the very first week of her 2.5 years long marriage, Anita used to complain about the harassment by her husband and in-laws. Fearing a backlash from society, Janak Rani used to advise her daughter to try making things work. Her in-laws used to mentally torture her by complaining of little dowry she has brought and were demanding more from her widow mother.
The torture was getting unbearable day by day and Anita’s mother was getting more & more worried for her daughter’s safety. But never in her worried mind, she imagined what happened next.
It was just another working day In Amritsar, where Anita’s maternal family used to stay. Pradeep Kumar, Anita’s elder brother was having a quiet dinner with his family when he received a call from Surinder Bhalla (Anita’s husband), that Anita has fallen from the stairs and broken her nose. Pradeep Kumar already sensing a problem, asked Surinder to take Anita to the nearest hospital while he reaches Gurdaspur. Before he could make sense of everything, with in 2 mins he received another call from Anita’s husband that Anita is dead. In a state of shock, he informed his relatives in Amritsar and called a taxi and left for Gurdaspur in a huff.
As Anita was regularly harassed by her husband and her in laws, Pradeep sensing foul play, went straight to the Gurdaspur City Police Station, where more shock awaited him. Surinder Bhalla and his family were already there and were sharing a steaming cup of tea with our law keepers. On enquiring, Pradeep and his relatives, were told by the cops that they have already been to the death location and have already sent the death body to the Civil Hospital Gurdaspur, as their enquiry revealed no foul play. The most astounding fact was, it had just been 3 hours to the incident and without informing any of the girl’s relatives, the cops had completed their enquiry & had given a clean chit to everyone. They even had the audacity to declare this incident as suicide without a proper post mortem. Cops even refused to file an FIR for the case.
After Anita’s family and friends intervened and threatened a city wise protest, the cops finally filed an FIR on the evening of 15th May, 2012; exactly 24 hours after the gruesome incident.
Bhalla’s are considered to be a very influential family in Gurdaspur. And people who can influence the authorities to ignore the murder, can go to any extend to make sure the enquiry is shoddy.
Anita’s family was sceptical about conducting the post mortem in Gurdaspur, so they insisted to transfer the body to Amritsar Medical Hospital. Initially the authorities were reluctant but bowing to the pressure they finally agreed to transfer the body to Amritsar.
Dr. Kirpal Singh of Medical College Amritsar conducted the post mortem on 16th May, 2012 at 6 p.m. at Amritsar. As expected, the post mortem revealed the brutality of the incident. There were many injury marks on her face, she had marks on her neck that revealed that she was asphyxiated with her own Chunni and was also punched few times on her 6 Months pregnant stomach. Though we have seen the pictures to support this but we aren’t sure now if the actual report will reveal all this.
As Gurdaspur is a small town and things do get out, Bhalla’s have supposedly put a lot of pressure, both political and financial (sic bribe) on administration. And now the family of Anita Bawa fear the real story may not come out. Though the FIR was filed against both (husband and in laws), the in-laws Virender Bhalla and Raj Rani are yet to be arrested and are rumoured to have paid a lot of money to the local authorities to look the other way. Till now only husband Surinder Bhalla has been arrested.
I have nothing to do with this case. I can shut down my computer, delete the file from my computer and forget about this by watching an IPL match. But tomorrow I will come across the same story where the victim, location and may be the motive will be something else. It will again disturb me and I will once again write something on this issue and like today, will forget. Then one fine day, something this gruesome will happen to somebody close to us and we will again blame the society for just being the mere spectators and not doing something about these issues. Forgetting, we did the same when it happened with others.
We have done lot of business stories together but this is the first story I am forwarding which is beyond any personal commercial gain. I urge my friends in media to take up this story and make sure not just Anita, but all the women in small towns of India, who have been denied justice, get their due.
Anita Bawa was a cousin of Pankaj Sharma, who is my friend. You may get in touch with him at +91 9891241119 for details on the case.