BENGALURU:Wife of the deceased Subramani, Kavitha, looked like she was in shock when Mayor Sampath Raj led her to the centre of the protest to thrust a cheque into her hand in front of crowds and the waiting cameras. She had stepped away to a corner to grieve in private and escape the clamour of pourakarmika leaders and the media glare at Malleswaram’s KC General Hospital, where her husband was declared dead on arrival.
With two children tugging at her saree, the 35-year-old mother seemed spent and speechless in the middle of angry relatives and union workers demanding compensation. The leaders’ initial demand of `10 lakh went up to `25 lakh along with a permanent job for the Kavitha with BBMP.
Many television cameras swarmed around her for ‘bite’, while she numbly repeated the incident over and over again. The protesting crowd’s slogans grew louder minutes before the Mayor arrived and Kavitha retreated to a corner even as eager advisors followed her.
On arrival, Sampath Raj went straight to where protesting pourakarmikas and their leaders had gathered. After a good 15 minutes of shouted demands and assurances, the crowd broke loose and Mayor took his leave.
Just before driving away, Sampath Raj and his team walked over to where Kavitha sat with her children and a few relatives. A person from his entourage took out a Syndicate Bank’s cheque that was issued for rupees “five lakhs only”, but was not ready to hand it over just yet. The Mayor led Kavitha to the centre of the crowd, where cameras had gathered, and then gave her the leaf. Within seconds, a relative reached out and folded the cheque into his pocket while a dazed Kavitha raised no protest.
Through it all, her two children were being dragged along with the weeping mother from one corner of the hospital premises to the other.