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Too many 'living dead' in UP

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  • Shaji John K
    Too many living dead in UP ARVIND SINGH BISHT TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ SATURDAY, JULY 19, 2003 01:46:05 AM ] LUCKNOW: Living dead may sound illogical a joke,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 19, 2003
      Too many 'living dead' in UP

      TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ SATURDAY, JULY 19, 2003 01:46:05 AM ]

      LUCKNOW: 'Living dead' may sound illogical a joke, but it is a case
      true to UP. Hundreds of them are locked in a long-drawn legal battle
      to fight their way to become alive on the government record.

      For lack of concerted efforts on the part of successive governments
      to redress their grievances, the living dead continue to suffer
      untold miseries. As once declared dead on official record, even a son
      of the soil forfeits his bonafide rights and becomes alien to his own
      land and property.

      The blame for the wrong goes to revenue and police officials, who
      have the power to declare anybody dead. And this is a modus operandi
      common to most parts of the state, specially in rural areas where it
      has been made a tool by the resourceful to grab land.

      Interestingly, this has been chosen as a plot for his new film to be
      shot shortly here by well-known film personality Satish Kaushik. The
      script for this is prepared by Imtiyaz Husain.

      The problem persists despite a hue and cry raised over the issue by
      Lal Bihari Mirtak, who has formed a Mirtak Sangh. The Sangh, he says,
      now plans to hold a protest in a unique way by having a 'Brahm bhoj'
      (a ritual being held after death) to be attended by over 2000 living
      dead from all over the state here in front of the Vidhan Sabha on
      July 30.

      Since the problem plagues all, the bhoj will be attended by members
      of different communities, including Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs
      and Christians, he says.

      And he adds: "The invitation has been extended, among others, to
      President APJ Klam, PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, DPM LK Advani, the Chief
      Justice of India, chairman NHRC, besides Governor Vishnukant Shastri
      and chief minister Mayawati."

      "We are left with no option but to fight for our rights peacefully,"
      Mirtak says, who himself fought his way hard to become alive on
      record after a battle waged by him from 1976 to 1994.

      In between, he held dharnas at Boat Club in New Delhi, threw his
      memorandum of demands on the floor of the assembly, resulting in his
      arrest in 1986.

      Outside the House, he also tried to raise his voice by contesting Lok
      Sabha elections against former PMs, VP Singh in 1988 from Allahabad
      and Rajiv Gandhi from Rae Bareli in 1989.

      Sizable number of victims are those either working in some foreign
      countries or settled there. For instance, Bandehasan, who is said to
      be working in the UK, was declared dead in his village Sultanpur of
      Mau district. The mistake was corrected only when it was taken up by
      the Mirtak Sangh, claimed Lal Bihari.

      Lamenting the government's attitude, Lal Bihari said that no drive
      had so far been launched for verification of living dead despite
      repeated demands. He also said that erring officials were seldom
      punished and the action taken against a few were not pursued.

      An official, while admitting the problem, said that it was well under
      control. However, asked about the number of such cases, he said it
      was difficult to give an exact figure.
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