Being Women

The Monster Mother

A few days ago, the sensational Bharti Bhagat case had hogged the headlines and grabbed public attention because of the sheer bizarreness of the incident. Crime reporters, criminologists, and psychologists had a field day, analysing and dissecting the human mind and its baser instincts.

Bhopal, Sept. 14: In an incident that sent shockwaves across the country, a three-year-old girl was thrown out of a running train compartment by her own mother. The girl, rescued by RPF personnel, had cuts and bruises all over her body but suffered no serious injury. She was found at a spot between Bina Junction station and Sumreri railway station and later handed over to the local police by RPF personnel. “The little girl who speaks Hindi said her name was Shruti but was unable to give her address or her guardian’s name. She told us that her mother had shoved her out of the compartment. We have circulated her photograph in all police stations and we urge people to come forward if they have any information,” said the officer-in-charge, Tarun Pande. The girl was handed over to the local social welfare worker.

Bhopal, Sept.16: The police have finally traced the family of the baby girl Shruti who was flung out of a train compartment by her mother just two days back. Her maternal uncle, Ashok Bhargav contacted the police after recognizing Shruti from the photograph published in the newspaper. According to Mr Bhargav, Shruti had boarded Gorakhpur Express with her mother Bharti from Lokmanya Tilak terminus in Mumbai. They were coming to visit her ailing grandmother at Kanpur. Mr Bhargav had been waiting for them at Kanpur station but became frantic with worry when the duo did not get down from the train. The next day he had spotted Shruti’s photograph in the newspaper and contacted the police. However, investigators were still in dark about the motive of the heinous crime since they have so far failed to trace Shruti’s mother, Bharti.

According to police sources, Bharti had an accomplice onboard. A passenger travelling in the same compartment said he had noticed Bharti speaking to a man standing on the platform in Mumbai while Shruti was fast asleep. “The man may have boarded a different compartment. We suspect that he was her paramour and they may have planned to get rid of Shruti as she was the thorn in their path.” A manhunt has been launched for Bharti and her accomplice, said KK Singh, the district superintendent of police who is confident of cracking the case within a couple of days. Meanwhile, police have informed Shruti’s father Manoj Bhagat of the incident. Mr.Bhagat, a sales executive, is on his way to collect his daughter from the home of the social welfare department where she has been staying after being rescued.

Bhopal, Sept.17: The eternal love triangle seemed to be at play behind Bharti Bhagat’s attempt to kill her daughter before eloping with her paramour.  The police are now convinced that Bharti had regarded her daughter to be an obstacle in her way to happiness. They have circulated her photographs to all police stations along with the description of the accomplice to arrest them. The police are questioning her neighbours and acquaintances to establish the identity of the man. Tracing her whereabouts through the mobile phone has proved to be futile as the smashed set was recovered only a few metres from where Shruti was found.  However, her husband Manoj Bhagat denied that Bharti was having an extramarital affair. He claimed that they were happily married for the past five years. Bharti was indeed on her way to visit her ailing mother and he had planned to join them a week later and bring them back. Mr Bhagat said: “At times my wife could be a bit temperamental but I have no idea why she committed such a diabolic act.”

His brother-in-law Ashok Bhargav has lent his support to the distraught husband.  

“I am ashamed that my sister could commit such a heinous and evil act. I only hope that she never finds any peace for the sin she has committed,” said Mr Bhargav. He has now offered to look after Shruti. “This is the least we can do after what my sister did. She has brought disgrace to our family with her wanton behaviour,” Mr Bhargav added while consoling a tearful Manoj. Meanwhile, the staff of the welfare home today bade a tearful farewell to Shruti as she accompanied her father and uncle to Kanpur.

Bhopal, Sept.18: In a twist to the Bharati Bhagat case, the police today arrested Manoj Bhagat on charges of abetment to suicide after discovering her mutilated and decomposed body behind a shrub, beside the railway tracks just 200 meters from the spot where Shruti was found. A suicide note was found in the travel bag that was still looped around Bharti’s arm. Villagers who had been out collecting fodder for their cattle found the body after following the stench emanating from the bushes. Police said that the late discovery of the body was because she had tumbled away some distance before the body was caught by the shrubs. Her brother Ashok Bhargav identified the body from the ornaments she was wearing.

According to police, the suicide mentioned that Manoj had been putting pressure on her for dowry after the birth of their daughter. “He was putting pressure on her to visit her parents and bring him Rs two lakhs. But she evidently found it hard to bear as she had married him without her family’s consent,” said Tarun Pande, the investigating officer. During the investigation, police found that of late, Manoj had turned to gambling and ran up some debts. “The landlord of the apartment where the couple was staying told us that Bharti had confided in his wife about Manoj’s demands. He had threatened to abandon Bharti along with her daughter if she did not get the money from her parents,” said Mr Pande. The man with whom Bharti was seen speaking at Mumbai railway station was none other than Manoj.

Although there were no eyewitnesses, police have been able to piece together the events in the case through circumstantial evidence and Shruti’s account. Initially, Bharti may have considered killing her daughter before taking her own life. But she could not do it. Shruti told us, when they were crossing the bridge over the canal, her mother had opened the door of the compartment but did not let go of her hand. She then may have changed her plan and waited until the train departed from the next station. She pushed out Shruti when the train was yet to gather speed and at a spot with enough grass for a softer landing. Bharti then jumped out of the running train to end her life. Bharti’s brother Ashok Bhargav has now registered a case of abetment to suicide against his brother-in-law Manoj Bhagat.

Unfortunately, the Indian men’s cricket team’s skipper had quit after a spat with the coach and a star couple tied the knot on the same day, hence Bharti’s tragic end did not find a place in the prime time of news channels. In most newspapers, it was only mentioned in the “Briefs” column of one of the inside pages after days of being reviled as the ‘monster mother’ by the so-called “police sources”, news anchors, and even her own near and dear ones and castigated in a media trial.   

By Anindita Chowdhury

Anindita Chowdhury is a special correspondent of the English daily, The Statesman. She is based in Hyderabad. Apart from reporting, she writes short stories and essays with special focus on history, particularly the social and cultural aspects of the bygone era. She can be contacted at

Facebook Comments


One Response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Social Media

Most Popular

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.

Veda's Exclusive

Get Ready to Turn Heads with Our Stunning Sarees!