The headlines of the newspapers yet again screamed about stories of authority and power insolently and obsessively playing with a woman’s poise. Yes, I am talking about the infamous Geetika Sharma suicide case that jolted the nation on August 05. Just a day after, the news of the alleged suicide by Fiza Mohammad aka Anuradha Bali came to the fore. What a coincidence, both the ladies seemingly killed themselves after being continuously harassed by politicians.
Geetika Sharma, a 23-year-old former flight attendant of now-defunct MDLR Airlines, was found hanging in her flat in North-West Delhi. She blamed Haryana’s former minister Gopal Goyal Kanda for the extreme step in her suicide note.
Another symbol of stark impiety by yet another politician was Fiza Mohammad’s four-day-old festering body with maggots crawling over it, which was recovered from her house at Mohali in Chandigarh.
If we talk about the Geetika Sharma case, one notices that she was an archetypal middle-class girl with aspirations. She joined a firm that was run by former Haryana minister Gopal Goyal Kanda who allegedly had a voracious appetite for her, which is depicted by the fact that the Delhi Police have found a ‘special clause’ in Geetika’s appointment letter wherein she was supposed to report to her employer, Kanda, every day ‘after work’. A colleague of Geetika also told the police that “Kanda had put a chair in Geetika’s cabin and used to sit there most of the time”. Reports also claim that Geetika wished to pursue MBA, and Kanda funded her with Rs 7.5 lakh. But favours sometimes prove to be lethal.
An e-mail has been traced by the Delhi Police which was written by Geetika to MDLR human resource manager, Aruna Chadha, a co-accused in this case, which states, “I will build my career on my own...no matter how many obstacles one puts in my way”. Here, 'one' allegedly is Kanda. Surely, there were obstacles, otherwise why would Kanda remain evasive for more than 10 days after Geetika’s death. Did he want to get rid of all the evidences, which probably pushed Geetika to commit suicide?
It was reported that on March 31, 2009 Geetika was issued a letter from MDLR that had orders of her relocation and re-designation to Goa as the ‘coordinator of MDLR group’. It was also reported that in Goa she came to know that Kanda allegedly had relations with other women too. Nine months after, she resigned and joined Emirates. It gives a hint that Geetika possibly wanted to get out of Kanda’s trap. Her colleagues reportedly said that she used to be upset about 'something' most of the times.
Going by Geetika’s suicide note, it seems that she was tottering under a frail state and to her realisation, evidently falling into a ‘black hole’ from where she could never escape.
Previously, there were reports that Geetika was pregnant and got her abortion done, reacting to which her brother Ankit told a newspaper that “this is character assassination of my sister. If this was true, we would have known”. But, finally the post-mortem report revealed that Geetika Sharma was ‘sexually active’ and that she also had ‘unnatural sex’. Did Geetika commit suicide out of some guilt? There is seriously something wrong. Her brother also told another website that “Kanda wanted to keep Geetika close to him at any cost. He was doing everything to achieve his goal but Geetika wanted to get rid of him”. Her family also mentioned that Kanda used to ask her to return back and join the company again and even went to Dubai to convince her. Did Kanda want her to return as he was obsessed with her and believed that Geetika was in her trap and possibly now could not wriggle out of it? But, Geetika’s family also comes under suspicion as Kanda shared good relations with them too - then why did they suddenly raise objections about his association with her? Were they in dark previously or do they have some motive?
On August 12, Geetika again quit Emirates and came back to India. This time she was offered the post of ‘director of corporate affairs’ at MDLR group and a ‘luring’ salary by Kanda. In her suicide note she mentioned that she was harassed by both Kanda and Chadha - if that was the case, then why did she join back the firm after resigning from Emirates? An airhostess is promoted to the level of a director and she accepts it. Why? One of the reasons could be that she was scared as according to reports, Kanda sent a fake letter about extradition proceedings initiated against Geetika which might have forced her to join back MDLR.
On the other hand, Gopal Kanda mentioned in his plea that Geetika was “hypersensitive in nature”. Even, his lawyer KTS Tulsi mentioned that “Geetika was obsessed with Kanda”.
In Kanda’s plea, he alleged that, “Geetika’s act of suicide was not the handy work of a sound mind but that of a confused and frustrated individual”. Kanda even said that he didn’t know Geetika’s family and just shared employer-employee relations with her. Then how come his pictures appeared with Geetika’s family?
Why did he abscond for so long? Why did he fund Geetika’s MBA fee if he knew that Geetika was ‘obsessed’ with him? Police investigation reveals that hard disk and some electronic data of MDLR office are missing. Did Kanda want to destroy all the evidences and escape freely? It has also been reported that Geetika’s Facebook account has been deactivated. Geetika’s family claims that they didn’t have her account’s password. Then, who did it?
Geetika’s brother Ankit alleges that Kanda’s surrender was a ‘pre-planned drama’ and the government was helping him.
Adding more suspicion about Kanda, Nupur Mehta, who became famous after cricket match-fixing scandal, and was a previous employee of MDLR airlines, made some startling revelations claiming that Geetika and Kanda were quite close to each other and had gone on several foreign trips together including Singapore, Dubai, Macau, London and Hong Kong. Why did he spend so much on a particular employee? There are reports that most of the staff of MDLR Airlines constituted of female workers.
Further, police investigations have revealed that actually, Kanda was very much obsessed with her and the police have unearthed hundreds of messages that Kanda sent to Geetika which clearly point out his ‘mania’ for her. Is it a typical story of forcefulness, blackmail and ultimately death?
Now, let’s take Fiza Mohammad’s case. It is said that her eyes met with former Haryana deputy chief minister Chander Mohan at a juice corner in Chandigarh. They were so much in love that the minister left his family behind and the two married each other. But later, their ‘choti si love story’ came to an end when he divorced Fiza who was once ‘chand’ for Chander Mohan and went back to his family. After this incident, a furious Fiza made a complaint against him charging him of rape, cheating, and what not. She made almost every possible attempt to get him back and as a result, the ‘closed chapter’ once again became open when Chander Mohan returned to her. He apologised to her and took back his statement which he had once made - “I have left Fiza”. She did everything to save their marriage but, her love could not ‘embrace’ him for long and finally he went back forever due to family and political pressure and even divorced her on phone saying “Talaq talaq talaq”. Was this separation the reason behind her death? But, after this incident, Fiza mentioned that she will not sit back like an ‘abla naari’ and will expose the minister. For this, she campaigned against the Bhajan Lal family in the 2009 Assembly elections in Haryana. But, why would a woman, who took such a bold step of marrying an already married man and even campaigning against him, choose an easy step, suicide as an option?
Fiza Mohammad was a former Assistant Advocate General of Haryana who left her employment to marry Chander Mohan in December 2008. Further, as per a news agency, Fiza aka ‘Anuradha Bali’ floated Fiza-e-hind, an NGO, after she parted ways with Chander Mohan. Then what went wrong suddenly? What circumstances forced her to end her life despite having future plans?
When Fiza Mohammad’s body was recovered, the deceased did not leave behind any suicide note but half a bottle of liquor and a pack of cigarette. Was she trying to cope up with some mental pressure?
After divorcing Fiza, Chander Mohan never looked back at her and easily got away with ruining Fiza’s life, whom he had married and once claimed to have loved.
This is not the first time that such cases have come to light but if one happens to look back, it can be easily traced that such cases of barefaced use of power and wickedness of politicians have time and again ruined lives of many women in the name of insane love.
Before Geetika and Fiza, there were others like Madhumita Shukla, who was an aspiring poet from UP. She allegedly had a love-affair with politician Amarmani Tripathi. She is said to have been pregnant with the minister’s child when she was killed.
Another case is of RTI activist Shehla Masood’s, who was allegedly involved in a love triangle with a BJP MP and was ultimately murdered. But, one year after her killing, her father Sultan Masood refuted claims that she was murdered because of an alleged ‘love triangle’.
And then there is the sensational Bhanwari Devi murder case of Jodhpur who lost her life for allegedly blackmailing a Rajasthan minister.
There is no single, certain answer to these questions - it is elusive. If we look at some common patterns in these cases of “fatal attractions” that involved politicians, a possible answer could be that power and money have become a tool in the hands of the rich and the mighty who try to exploit women and then easily get away with it. And, interestingly, the pattern undertaken is the same. An obsessive politician, with his eye on a woman, offers her a coveted career with impressive incentives, gifts, foreign trips and what not? As a result, the female falls in his ‘glittery’ trap and these desires sometimes prove to be fatal for them.
It is evident that most women now aim for higher education and are moving out of their shells and hide-bound roles to assert their own individuality with desire to achieve something immense in life, to acquire a well-known and respectable status for themselves which is very natural and human. One has to understand that there is nothing wrong with having aspirations and women should not be blamed just for being ambitious. But, being a girl in this ‘mardo ki duniya’, she has to be careful so that she does not fall prey to exploitation at the hands of some influential men, as men also aspire but they seldom get used.