Maniappan’s widow still waiting for help

published on November 22, 2006


Alapuzha:A full year has passed since Border Road Organisation driver and Chingoli native Maniappan was beheaded by the Taliban in Afghanistan, but his widow Bindu is still frequenting the corridors of Government offices for getting the assistance offered to her and the family. Though the Union and State Governments were quick to make promises, most of them still remain unfulfilled as Bindu is struggling to find money to keep the family going.



Maniappan’s relatives and residents of Chingoli village said that the Government was doing injustice to the widow of the first defence-related Indian personnel to be killed by the Taliban militia.


There was a promise of a job for Bindu at the National Thermal Power Corporation’s project in Kayamkulam, but she had not yet got the appointment letter.. The promise of free treatment for Ramankutty and Maniamma, Maniappan’s aged parents was yet to be fulfilled. The offer of free education to Ajay and Akshay, sons of Manaiappan and Bindu, is also yet to materialize. Ajay is now a Class IV student at the NTPC Central School at Cheppad near Chingoli.


“Nothing is happening. Politicians and bureaucrats were seen frequenting the place for some days following the tragedy, but after that nothing happened. The poor widow is struggling to find out a way to organize resources to meet all these expenses,” said a neighbour. “Officials concerned with these matters are keeping on saying the orders have not come. When will they get these orders?” she wonders.


The renaming of the Public Health Centre in Chingoli after Maniappan as a memorial was done only recently as the order for this had reached the panchayat authorities late.


There is a committee in the village formed in the memory of Maniyappan, the jobs of which are to mobilise funds for Maniyappan’s family, build a statue of Maniyappan on the roadside in Chingoli and put pressure on the Central Government for honours for Mniyappan posthumously. “On this front also nothing is happening due to external reasons,” said the neighbour.


Maniyappan Ramankutty was abducted on November 19, 2005 by Taliban militia in Afghanistan while he was serving there as BRO personnel. Amidst allegations that the External Affairs Ministry was not effectively intervening in the matter, the Indian Government refused to agree to the Taliban demand for immediate stoppage of all Indian activities there, which led to Maniappan’s beheading on November 22. Though there were reports in international media about Taliban brutality, the government could confirm the incident only on the following day. His body, found in a Khandahar desert, was brought home and cremated on November 25.


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