news Tuesday, April 07, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute | October 8, 2014 | 2.45 pm IST

What should have been a happy period of leave for R Shridhar, a Corporal who has served 10 years with the Indian Airforce, turned out to be a nightmare for him and his family.

Instead of taking possession of their newly built house, he found that they would have to fight for their claim over it.

R Shridhar who hails from Bangalore, has been posted at the Air Force Station in Nathatop, Udhampur district in Jammu and Kashmir for the last 18 months. His radar unit assists in air traffic control, maintaining surveillance on Indian and Pakistani air space along the borders.

Shridhar’s family had bought some land in Bangalore in 1993 to build their own house, but were unable to do so until 2007, but this had to be stopped because of legal wrangles. Once it was sorted out in their favour in 2012, they were able to continue construction which was nearly completed by August except for minor things like painting, electrical wiring.

He came home on leave on August 4, and instead of spending a relaxed holiday at home, he had to ensure that the house was completed in a haste as a bunch of goons had sabotaged the ongoing construction by beating up the workers in his family’s absence on two occasions.

Fearing that there was an organized attempt to take over their house, Shridhar and his friends rushed with the work to get it completed and arranged for the registration in his name on August 14. His parents were a little said that he would not be there for the house warming ceremony on August 15 as his leave was up. He had to leave for Nathatop on the same day.

Instead of leaving on a happy and contented note, Shridhar left with the knowledge that someone had, in fact, taken over his house forcibly just the night that he headed back to his posting.

Shridhar’s father G Ramesh (53) said that on August 14, he got a call from one of his new neighbours telling him that a large number of people had broken into their house and taken over. Ramesh lives in Pudugere village, 100 km away from Bangalore and when they reached there the next day, found that around 40 people had broken in and would not let them inside the house.

Shridhar 1

Shridhar's parents Ramesh and Lakshmi Devi. He has a brother who is married and works at a private firm and a sister who is completing her engineering degree.

For 10 days, Shridhar claims, the police did not register a complaint and it was only after the intervention of higher officers that an FIR was registered on August 26.

They began a protracted process of finding documents and putting together documents that would prove their case in court. Shridhar says that they were only able to get the keys of their house from the police a month after goons took over their house.

Shridhar’s 48-year-old mother ran from pillar to post trying to get documents that would help their case. She was largely alone in visiting various government offices in obtaining the necessary documents to prove that the house in Medarahalli was theirs. On some occasions, when he managed to get leave from his posting in Kashmir, Shridhar was able to accompany her.

“It was my mother and my friends who did most of the work. She had to find out how to do everything. My father cannot do much as he is diabetic and is overweight,” Shridhar said.

After the police registered a case, he claims that the accused had pleaded with them to withdraw the case, and even offered them money to drop the case but they refused. He believes that they will win the case, which is now before the City Civil Court number 45.

“We want to fight this legally.” says Ramesh.

Recalling the events of the day their nightmare began, Shirdhar said: “On that day, I wanted help. Nobody, not even the police helped us.”

In a Facebook post, Shridhar wrote in detail about the ordeal he and his family faced.

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