'All Colony inmates are not beggars'

'All Colony inmates are not beggars'

 Inmates of Beggars’ Colony undergoing treatment at the  Isolation Hospital in Bangalore on Wednesday. DH PhotoAccording to sources deaths happen regularly at the Colony every day, the only difference this time being the admission of patients to the hospital.

Ailing inmates at the Hospital had horror stories to recount. Inmates of the Colony were not necessarily beggars. Take the case of 25-year-old Rahman, a native of Davangere. The youth worked as a painter under one Basha at Yeshwanthpur. About twenty days back, on his way to work, he was reportedly picked up by some people, bundled into a van and dumped at the Colony, they narrated.

“I was thrashed and not given an opportunity to contact my family members and inform them about my whereabouts,” he rued.

Mehbub, a native of Doddaballapur, who was an imitation ornaments vendor, was also reportedly picked up from near the Bowring Hospital.

Another ailing inmate, Muninanjappa, a resident of Avalahalli said he was waiting for a bus near the Karnataka High Court when he was picked up by unknown men, on the pretext that he appeared too weak and required hospitalisation. He was later brought to the Beggars’ Colony. All the 14 people admitted to the Isolation Hospital said they were sure about falling ill some day or the other.

“Everyday, a few inmates fall ill after having food and are shifted out of the Colony on the pretext of being hospitalised. But they never return. Only later we come to know that they have died. Even the place of their cremation will not be known to us,” said Mehbub.
Mayor S K Nataraj, who visited the Colony along with Basavanagudi Corporator Katte Satyanarayana, to take stock of the situation was puzzled to know how only 25 out of 2,600 inmates had taken ill.

When Deccan Herald tried to secure information about the deaths at the Colony in the past one year, Superintendent of the Beggars’ Colony Lakshminarasimha refused to divulge any information and tried to downplay the incident by stating that people brought into the Colony were all aged and ailing.

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