Maoist terror brings shock, grief to Kerala village

via PNS | Kochi published on April 7, 2010

In her small house at the North Muzhuvannnur village near Perumbavoor, some 40 km away from Kochi, 67-year-old Rugmini Amma sits frozen like a statue of rock out of shock and disbelief. After the initial breakdown she underwent when she learned about the death of her beloved son in the hands of the Maoists in the jungles of Chhattisgarh, she has not been able to speak.

The news of Rajesh’s death in the Maoist massacre in the jungles of Dantewara in Chhattisgarh was first learned by his family on Tuesday night from the television screens. Still, the family wanted to believe that the report was false, and hopes grew when the night passed on without official confirmation. But the confirmation came from the Ernakulam district administration late Wednesday morning, shattering that hope.

CRPF Jawan Rajesh (29), son of Eeroth Krishnan Nair, had telephoned his home a few days ago to promise to return by April 10 to celebrate the Vishu festival with family. “What have those devils gained by killing him?” asks a relative through sobs. “What crime had he committed against them in those jungles?” his doubts remain. Rajesh had joined the CRPF in 2001.

Relatives and villagers remained incapable of consoling Rugmini Amma because the news of the tragedy had made her irresponsive to soothing words and caresses. Those who reached Rajesh’s house hearing the news were yet to get of their shock and most stood around unable to speak. “He was a bold and benevolent boy,” said 76-year-old Sankaran Nair, a friend of Rajesh’s family. “It is as though I lost one of my sons,” he said.

“Before leaving home to join his CRPF company some months ago, Rajesh had asked me to find a girl for him to marry,” said Sivadas, a friend, in an inconsolable condition. “I was about to write to him about a girl he knew. I never thought I would ever have to come across such a tragedy,” he said without caring to wipe away the tears flowing down his cheeks.

Hundreds of people from Muzhuvannur and the surrounding villages had gathered at Rajesh’s house on Tuesday night itself, learning of the tragedy from TV news. “Rajesh was such a pleasant guy that I have never seen him angry,” said Radha, a neighbour. “He used to come home every six months and he had never forgotten to bring some gift or the other for everyone in the family and in the neighbouring houses,” Radha sobbed.

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