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Dangerous liaisons: ‘Mum’s’ not the word anymore!

photo of a fresh crime scene

By Ila Garg

In Indian society, mothers are always seen as epitomes of sacrifices. They are a daughter’s best friend, a confidante, and a counsellor. It is said a mother goes through enormous pain during her child’s birth but what if this friend turns into a foe? What if this person who brought you in this world decides to end your life too? Sounds unthinkable, right? But the traditional Indian mother is no longer traditional and the modern version seems to be nowhere near to the old one. So what is making these mothers so dangerous?

In the country that claims to preserve its age-long traditions, the crime rate has increased like a tornado. People have suddenly stopped thinking rationally and let alone brotherhood, mother-child relation also has lost its sanctity. Cases of honour killing have suddenly stormed up too. With the daughters being raped by their own family members and mothers telling them to suffer in silence, it is evident that an accusation on the mother killing her own daughter is no surprise at all.

NewsGram brings to you, some of these cases where mothers were accused of being the murderers, after all ‘Hell is right here’:

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24-year-old Sheena Bora was murdered by her mother Indrani Mukherjee. This controversial case recently got the attention of media when some evidences were found. The case is apparently laced with several murky twists and turns with Indrani Mukherjee being the prime suspect. The most shocking issue is that she never fully accepted Sheena Bora to be her daughter. On the contrary, they were both referred as ‘sisters’ till it was finally revealed that Sheena Bora was Indrani Mukherjee’s daughter. Though the exact reason for the murder is still under wraps.

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21-year-old Bhawna Yadav was killed by her parents too. Two love birds got secretly married. They were happily leading their life. And then the girl’s parents took her away, promising a grand wedding. What happened then? The girl was murdered. Why? Well, this is a clear case of honour killing, a very sad one indeed. Bhawna Yadav was murdered in 2014 for marrying a Punjabi. No, there was no khap panchayat involved here. 24-year-old Abhishek Seth when he married Bhawna Yadav was deeply shattered and demanded a death sentence for her parents.

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14-year-old Aarushi Talwar was murdered by her parents. In 2008, at a tender age she left the world only to let her murder be a mystery. Her parents were convicted of murdering her and the case was dubbed as honour killing when the domestic help Hemraj came into the picture. The media didn’t let this case die down so easily but yet no headway could be made. Her parents continued to deny the charges and CBI did investigate the case but still many questions were left unanswered. So Aarushi’s murder continues to be a mystery.

26-year-old Deepti Chhikara was strangled to death by mother. This is another case of honour killing that came in records. Deepti Chhikara was a primary school teacher, who belonged to an orthodox family. They were against her wish to marry a man from another caste and thus forcefully married her to a man of their choice. She had returned home from her in-laws’ place a few weeks ago. It was then that her mother, brother and uncle strangled her to death and later dumped her body.

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23-year-old Kiran Kohli was killed by her mother. This comes across as a shocking case. Kiran’s mother killed her only because of her outrageous lifestyle. Kiran apparently was addicted to smoking and drinking. She also loved to party till late hours. Her mother made a few attempts to kill her and she tried to poison her food and smother her with a pillow. It was then that she hired her brother to get rid of her daughter; and this is not all.

Every year, the number of these incidents is increasing. Some come to light while others are still shrouded in mystery. Instances like these are countless. The apathy is apparently rampant and shockingly mothers are the culprits this time.

Next Story

Solving a murder in a Nazi bastion, escaping the Stasi

But as there are a couple of Nazis who are not so bad, our hero also shows that anyone with some dignity and honour can keep his mooring amid the direst evil

Prussian Blue is a must read book which offers different perspective. IANS
Prussian Blue is a must read book which offers different perspective. IANS
  • Prussian Blue is a novel by Philip Kerr
  • It is set in World War II
  • Thr book is an interesting read

Title: Prussian Blue (Bernie Gunther Series); Author: Philip Kerr; Publisher: Quercus

Some men can never outrun their past. It is not that their wrongdoings cannot be forgotten, but rather that their unique abilities which even their enemies, spanning the spectrum from Nazism to Communism, recognise and seek to utilise for their own ends. As with this outspoken, irreverent but capable German ex-policeman.

Bernie Gunther has survived over over two decades of Nazi rule, World War II’s Russian front, Soviet captivity, the Cold War’s lethal attentions — from all its sides — service to Juan Peron and the American mafia in Battista’s Cuba, and now just wants a quiet life.

Not Nazi were bad.

But his eccentric fate hasn’t yet finished with him, even in 1956. And in his latest appearance, Gunther learns — yet again — that the pathology of power remains the same, though the name, uniforms and even ideology may change, and today’s oppressed can easily become — and inevitably do — tomorrow’s oppressors.

Fleeing Berlin after a complex intelligence operation where he got even with those kicking him around — with the help of a dangerous figure from his pre-war past — Gunther tries to live obscurely as concierge in a small hotel on the French Riviera. But soon, his unlikely helper — Erich Mielke, the dreaded second-in-command of East Germany’s Stasi — personally appears and threatens him to undertake a mission.

This entails going over to Britain and poisoning — by thallium no less — a covert woman agent, whom Gunther had deftly outsmarted in his previous outing (“The Other Side of Silence”, 2016). And just to keep him on his toes, Mielke has his men arrange a near-fatal hanging for him.

But our hero is not one to give in tamely. While he goes along with Mielke’s assignment knowing the men wished upon him to “help” will eventually be his executioners, he escapes from the train taking them towards the English Channel. The Stasi men are soon on his trail and since their leader is someone who knows Gunther too well — a former pre-war Berlin police colleague who was his aide in investigating a crime in Adolf Hitler’s hilltop Bavarian retreat in 1939 — keeping ahead will not be too simple.

As Gunther flees across France with the French police too on his trail, his mind travels back to April 1939 when another dreaded boss sent him to solve a serious crime in Hitler’s holiday home, just before the Fuhrer visited it for his 50th birthday.

A top engineer overseeing construction and renovations has been shot dead right on the terrace of special tea house planned as a surprise for Hitler and now his close aide Martin Bormann wants the matter to be solved expeditiously without any fuss, so there is no threat to the Fuhrer’s life.

But as Gunther finds out, there is no shortage of suspects given the greed, graft, jealousy, turf fights and more going on between Nazi bigwigs in this Nazi citadel and a mass of resentful local residents, dispossessed of home or property for the Hitler retreat.

Given the high stakes involved, will he be allowed to investigate the case to its logical conclusion and identify the truly guilty or will any scapegoat do?

Flipping between the hazardous 1939 investigation and the nervous 1956 flight, Philip Kerr, in the 12th installment of his most captivating series, brings our wise-cracking, sardonic but resourceful hero back to life in all his tarnished, tired but still irrepressible form.

Also Read: Book Review: ‘Blitzed – Drugs in Nazi Germany’- Straight dope about the Fuehrer and the Nazi war machine

While it is a thriller twice over, the real worth is the uncompromising light it shows totalitarianism in — especially Nazism, which despite its much touted high ideals, could not advance from the ambition, greed and conceit of its principal leaders. Stalinist Communism, with its readiness to employ former Nazis and be as violent, doesn’t come far behind.

Kerr also scores in his vivid but unflattering portraits of top Nazis — from the boorish Bormann to the devious Heydrich and their system of violent loot or just violence. Apart from the insight into workings of Nazism, there is an unforgettable insight into normalisation of terror and casual brutality to gain and keep personal power.

But as there are a couple of Nazis who are not so bad, our hero also shows that anyone with some dignity and honour can keep his mooring amid the direst evil. That is why Bernie Gunther’s exploits are a must read. IANS