Free Press Journal

Cooped up life with an uncertain future


(PTI Photo) (PTI8_29_2018_000294B)

Mumbai: Being arrested twice is not really something many can take it, in the case of Vernon Gonsalves, he has experienced serious charges being filed twice by different governments. First the Congress and now the Bharatiya Janata Party government. This time, only difference is, due to the intervening case filed in Supreme Court, the Vernon and four others have got a relief of being under house arrest.

Not being in jail is a huge relief to the person arrested and to the families. However living under house arrest is no less suffocating. Firstly the families have to live with the fact, there is police presence in and around one’s house. Often building societies and neighbours find it a problem. In the case of Vernon, many know the family and are aware of the situation. Police in their case are not inside their house.  Police are working on a two-shift rotation of morning and evening. It has been only the first day and all seem to be adjusting to the new grind. “They don’t enter the house and maintain their distance. Two sit at the entrance of the wing and four to five sit in a covered area near the society office,” said Sagar, Vernon’s son.

Both Sagar and his mother Susan go to work which means Vernon is alone at home. The police don’t ask questions or restrict their movements, but it is a rather cumbersome living for Vernon. “Dad is there, keeping up with this restrictive living. He is quite old and at 61 it is a bit taxing on him. It is restricting on him. He can’t go out, he cannot speak on the phone since they have taken away his phone,” said Sagar. They don’t let him talk much because of the fear of being tapped. “We are also not clear of what he can or cannot do. It is kind of normal for dad, as he is watching television, eating meals on time but they have taken away our CPO and he has no access to computer. Mom and I go to office, when he is alone,” said Sagar.

The only relief is, police do not intrude upon Vernon or pop into the house to look on him. “Nobody looks over him. Even when they brought him to Mumbai, they just came till the door, they did not enter the house,” said Sagar.