Cops parade deranged man as Maoist

Caesar Mandal, TNN, Jun 18, 2010, 12.47am IST SALBONI (WEST MIDNAPORE): The "dreaded" Maoist captured by joint forces on Wednesday the only one apparently caught alive at the encounter site where eight rebels lay dead is a 20-year-old mute and mentally challenged youth from Duli village. No wonder, police haven't been able to make him speak. In what may cast a shadow on the way the police are rounding up suspects, Rameshwar Murmu has been branded a hardcore Maoist and slapped with the most stringent of charges, including sedition under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). The Midnapore court on Thursday remanded him in 15 days judicial custody. While on Wednesday, the cops claimed the "captured Maoist" was too stunned at the loss of so many comrades to speak and admitted that he hadn't said a word, Rameshwar's father, Bankim Murmu, cried, "My son can't speak. He may scream if you hit him, but he can't speak a word." The Murmus live right behind Wednesday's encounter site. Bankim says Rameshwar suffers from congenital epilepsy and developed ENT problems at a very young age leading to loss of speech and hearing. He produced medical records to support his claim. "He can only make barely legible sounds. It affected his behaviour and he lost his mental balance. That is why he could not pursue education beyond class IV," a tearful Bankim told TOI on Thursday. Bankim owns a mud house and a small plot of land on the edge of Ranjya forest where the bloody encounter took place on Wednesday. His elder son, Ram, works in a factory in Orissa. Recounting Wednesday's developments that led to his son being captured, Bankim said they woke up to the sound of gunfire behind his house. The family rushed out in the direction of the village to avoid being hit.
"My wife Madina was holding Rameshwar's hand as we ran. The gunfire had woken up other villagers as well and they were running helter-skelter. In the melee, Rameshwar broke free and ran back towards the house. I don't know what was on his mind. My wife ran after him. But before she could reach Rameshwar, police caught him. They put a gun to his head and said they would shoot if anyone took a step forward," he said.
The parents could only watch helplessly as the forces led their son away. "We pleaded with them to let him go. We told them that he is mentally challenged and not involved with Maoists. But they refused to listen," said Madina. They don't know where their son has been taken. Nor do they have the courage to go to the police for fear of being thrashed. According to medical documents, Rameshwar was treated at several places between 2004 and 2006, including ENT specialists at Tarakeshwar in Hooghly and Midnapore. On June 5, 2006, when Rameshwar was 16, he was taken to Anirban Diagnostic Centre Pvt Ltd in Midnapore town (ID B-6884, checked by Dr N Adhikari). Other villagers, like Sudha Soren and Lakshmi Murmu, confirmed that Rameshwar was mentally challenged. "He never behaved like a normal kid. Now we hear that he has been paraded before TV channels with his hands tied and branded a Maoist," Sudha said. Rameshwar was bare-bodied and wearing blue shorts when he was caught, an unlikely dress for a guerrilla. Police insist Rameshwar was present alongside senior Maoist leaders Bikash and Akash. "After the gunfight, we caught him hiding behind a hedge. He had a single-barrel gun," a cop said.
Rameshwar being taken to Midnaporet court on Thursday

Rameshwar being taken to Midnaporet court on Thursday

Bankim and Madina Murmu show a newspaper clipping of their son Rameshwar after he was arrested and branded a Maoist

Bankim and Madina Murmu show a newspaper clipping of their son Rameshwar after he was arrested and branded a Maoist

Courtesy: The Times of India
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3 Responses to “Cops parade deranged man as Maoist”

  1. Profile photo of Manish Ray Chaudhuri
    GABLU 19 June 2010 at 10:52 AM #

    We just can expect this from a TERRORIST Govt.

  2. Ranjana Bhattacharjee 19 June 2010 at 6:01 PM #

    Only this is expected from “desperate” police forces.When they can’t “identify” a maoist, they just arrest anyone whom they find “arrestable” and tag them maoist! What does government expect from these villagers and tribals when they are being tortured like this for no fault?

    And why does “home minister” believe that even after such acts, we “the civilians” can ever support the government? Why will we not support those villagers whom he tags as maoists and gets them arrested under false charges?

  3. a k bairagi 20 June 2010 at 1:00 PM #

    Sadharon maush mara ei Govt holo “Saitan” Govt. abilombe ei govt.-er paton chai. jautho bahini withdraw chai. Bangler budhijibira chup keno?, CPIM naki all india adibasi sangothaon tairi korche, tara chup keno? Vandamir ekta limitation thaka uchit. CIPM mone rekho tomra kintu par pabe na , maush er jabab debe.

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