Cries and shrieks rent the air as the news of Sajjad Mughal's life sentence reached his family at Salamabad in Baramulla district of Jammu & Kashmir. His mother Sayeeda fainted as his younger sister stood sobbing in a corner.
"For the last two years we have in mourning. There is no hope for us now. I can vouch for Sajjad's innocence. He could not have committed such a heinous crime," cried Sayeeda after regaining her senses.
A Std VI dropout, Sajjad was working as a labourer to sustain the family of six before moving to Mumbai in search of a job. Sajjad's elder brother had moved out of their house soon after his marriage, leaving the in a dire financial state. His two younger brothers too had skip school to support the family.
Sajjad's father Abdul Aziz has been bedridden for the past two years. "During winter there is no work here. So Sajjad told me that he would go outside the state to earn some livelihood. And suddenly one day we heard that he had been arrested", said Sayeeda.
The mother has met her son in jail once since his arrest. "I had to sell off our two cows to meet the travel expenses. can't afford to that too when she sold two cows for my Mumbai visit."
Sajjad's family is undecided about its next course of action. "Had we have money, we would have visited Sajjad. How can we decide about an appeal when we have no money to feed ourselves," asked Sayeeda.