This man’s story appears to be the perfect material for a Bollywood thriller being firmly ingrained in painful reality.
Manoj Ranjan Dixit, 56, lives alone in a rented room in Gomti Nagar Extension. He lost his job as a store keeper during the lockdown and is now battling for survival. His routine includes making visits to the offices of district officials in the hope of getting a roof over his head and also some financial help.
Manoj’s story seems rather common but what makes it different is that fact this short-statured man claims to be a former Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) agent. R&AW is the foreign intelligence agency of India.
“I belong to Najibabad. I was working for R&AW since 1985 and after military training, I was sent to Pakistan. I got arrested in 1992 in Pakistan for spying. In 2005, I was released at the Wagah border. I got married in 2007. After some time, I came to know that my wife has cancer. I came to Lucknow for her treatment but she died in 2013. I have been living here since then,” he told reporters.
According to Manoj, he was arrested for spying on the Afghanistan border and had to face torture.
After his return, he said that some of the R&AW officers gave him financial help but after that he was left to fend for himself.
According to him, officials now refuse to recognize the fact that he is a former R&AW agent.
“I have documents but no one is willing to listen,” he said pointing to a sheaf of papers.
Manoj is now looking for work that will help him earn a square meal for himself and wants the government to give him a house to live in.
“There are so many schemes for poor but nothing for me,” he said woefully.