Bharati Yadav's case is a classic example of love succumbing to the pressures of terror and politics. Her and her familys statements in the court shows that oath-taking is nothing but a mere ritual observed by the court.
WHEN BHARATI YADAV testified in court that Nitish Katara was just a friend and nothing more and that there was no romance involved, she became another victim to the real politics of terror. D P Yadav, the politician, could use his power to scare Neelam Katara, the fragile mother, as they both walked out of the courtroom after the in camera deposition.
A couple of days ago, Nitish’s younger brother Nitin had deposed in the same Patiala House Court about Bharati Yadav’s very palpable concern for Nitish after he went missing from the wedding in Ghazaibad in February 2002. It was from this wedding that he was abducted and then killed. He had cited e-mails sent by her as well as phone conversations with him and his mother and her concern for him was pretty much evident. It was also very touching since it was very clear that her family never approved of their closeness – even if they were to be just friends.
Although the content of her deposition was always in question and it was pretty much on the cards that she would retract from the original police statement given shortly after the murder, it was a tad painful to know that NDTV
’S Anasuya Roy spoke with Bharati’s lawyer S C Bhuttan who said that his client was “speaking from her heart” and was not influenced by anybody.
Bharati’s concern for her own safety is of course understandable. Her father, D.P.Yadav, a man of no mean reputation, was in the courtroom. He was a Rajya Sabha M.P till 2004. A couple of days earlier, her brother Vikas and the prime accused in the murder were caught on camera slapping media persons who had come to cover his deposition in the same case. There is another cousin by the name of Vishal, who is hovering some where in the background.
With a family background like this, of course in many ways, the outcome of Bharati’s deposition was a foregone conclusion. Perjury is so common in our land that swearing or affirming to tell the truth and nothing but the truth and taking ostentatious oaths on the Gita (so well captured in our Bollywood movies!) has become a mockery and should be done away with. But what makes the deposition more poignant than the innumerable witness purchase cases in the country is that this particular episode was not just about truth telling. It was also about trust, romance and innocence. Her initial thoughts and remarks hours after Nitish’s disappearance, confused, frightened and disjoined as they were, attracted attention for their innocence and the very obvious battle in her mind between the forces of terror and raw tyranny represented by her father and brother and the hopes and perhaps naiveté even of a young romantic.
Romance won the battle then, but sadly for the late Nitish Katara, he seems to have finally lost the war.