In a moving letter, Maaysha, human rights activist Sudha Bhardwaj’s daughter, has penned her experience of meeting her mother in the court in the hearing on November 6.
Stretching to the very last day of the temporary relief of house arrest granted by the Supreme Court vide order dated September 28, 2018 in Romila Thapar & Ors. v. Union of India, the Sessions court in Pune had rejected the bail applications for Advocate Sudha Bharadwaj, activists Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves on October 26, who were arrested allegedly in the Bhima Koregaon case on August 28, 2018. The Court also rejected the application for extension of house arrest which was due to expire on 26 October 2018.
While Ferreira and Gonsalves were arrested on October 26, Sudha Bhardwaj was arrested on October 27. All three were sent to judicial custody for 14 days by the Pune Sessions Court on November 6. Ferreira had alleged torture at the hands of IO Shivaji Pawar during the same court hearing.
Read the full letter her:
I don’t know where to begin. I was a baby when I went to the court and I saw my mother arguing in the court for justice, and now I saw her standing behind the court room like a criminal. The police are prosecuting my mother, it almost breaks my heart. I was shivering then. I wanted to cry out loud not because I am weak or something, it’s just that I can’t and I never thought of this possibility ever in my life, nobody would have, I guess! Seeing my mother stand in front of a judge saying nothing, her lawyer said about some stuff that she needed before going to jail! I was standing there too, I was staring at her, she seemed numb as far as I could understand. Before she was produced in court I met her outside when she was in a police bus. I cried then. I saw that two family members of another person who had been arrested were crying! That time my mom told me that they had treated her good which means they didn’t beat her or anything like that but she told me that one of the persons called Arun got beaten up by police! I got shocked, scared and upset because I thought maybe they treated her badly and she is not telling me. Back then I met her in police custody lots of police were there it’s obvious though! I hate them now I hate policemen I hate everyone who took my mother away from me. I hate them for stopping someone from doing good work! I don’t know how long it’ll going to take and I don’t know when my mother is going to come back home and scold me and ask me to eat my meal or eat my medicines properly! I miss her I miss her more nowadays!
When I saw her in jail we talked on phone, she was on the other side and we were talking. She said that everybody wants you to grow up now na so suddenly and that moment I cried I wanted to tell her that I want to be with you because others have their wife son out there who can support them and be together but I have only you and no one else!