Mumbai: Munna Kumar an undertrial in a 10yr old case related to sleeping on the pavement in front of a posh Mumbai locality has appealed to the HC not to hear his case soon fearing for his life. Munna, a landless laborer from Rampur, UP had come to Mumbai 10yrs back in search of a better dream. Knowing none but with the intention of earning a livelihood, Munna did small work working as a labourer in Andheri.
It was in the course of this brush with ‘city life’ that Munna was picked up by a Police party while he was sleeping in the vicinity of his one time idol Amitabh Bachhan’s house. Little did he know this would change the life of this 18yr old forever. A Shiv Sena led protest a day earlier in front of Mr. Bachhan’s house on the issue of Bhaiyas in Mumbai (UP-Bihar migrants) had led to damaging of some public property in the vicinity. Unaware of this Munna who with a group of friends wanted to have a glance of Mr. Bachhan had visited the area in the evening and when night fell decided to sleep nearby on the pavement.
Late night a police party on the beat picked him up and charged him under Section 427 of Indian Penal Code for causing damage to public property and under Section 441 of Indian Penal Code for Criminal Trespass. Munna could not pay the security amount of bail of Rs.150 and was lodged in the Arthur Road Jail till pending trial. To this date, the date of hearing in his case has not arrived and Munna has remained Bill No. 786 since April 13, 2005, the fateful night he was jailed.
The jail life had become a way of life for him till Neelima Kumari from NGO, Samarthya got to know of his case and decided to help him out. Neelima, an advocate by profession filed a fresh appeal in the case and even agreed to pay the surety for the bail. Just when it was clear that Munna would soon be out in the big bad world, he got to hear of the Salman case & pleaded Neelima not to push the case forward as he was happy in the prison.
Says Munna, “Maine Neelima Didi ko bola mat nikalo hummein jail se. Nikal ke kya karoonga, mera koi jaan pehchaan ka to hai nahi, meri biwi ne bhi doosri shaadi kar li hai. Mumbai mein rahoonga kahan? Footpath pad? Pehle to kisi ne park or dustbin damage kiya tha to 10 saal jail mein rahna pada, magar zinda hoon. Kal agar Salman Bhai ne gaadi chadha di mere upar to jaan bhi nahi rahegi. Shama karo magar mujhe bahar nahi jana hai.” (I’ve requested Neelima Didi not to have me out of the prison. What will I do after getting out? I don’t know anyone, even my wife has re-married. Where will I sleep in Mumbai? On the pavement? Last time someone destroyed a public park & dustbin, and I was put behind bars for the last 10yrs, but atleast I am alive. Tomorrow, If Salman Bhai runs over me in his car, then even my life will be lost. Forgive me, but I don’t want to get out).