Friday, April 10, 2009

'I pleaded with them not to kill my husband'

11 Apr 2009, 0529 hrs IST, Satyanarayan Pattnaik, TNN

KORAPUT: "It was around 2 pm when my husband returned home after a long day of campaign. He was very tired and told me that he wanted to take rest," Parvati Madkami, widow of Samrudha Odisha candidate Somnath Madkami, said on Friday, a day after she witnessed the gruesome murder of her husband by suspected Maoists.

"Some unidentified men came to our house and called my husband. The men said they were Maoist messengers and asked my husband to follow them. They said the Maoists wanted to discuss a few poll-related issues with him near MPV-35 village," Parvati said. "If I had known what was on their mind, I would not have allowed him to step out of the house," she added with tears rolling down her eyes.

Maoists summoning villagers to meetings are a regular affair in this part of the state. "My father willingly followed them. He did not fear anything because he was a Koya tribal and had never faced any threat from the Maoists. My mother also followed my father," Madkami's son Lalit, who is a clerk at the Malkangiri collectorate, said.

The couple trekked around 3 km to reach a spot near MPV-35 village. "A group of Maoists were waiting there for my husband. They surrounded him as soon as we reached the spot. They assaulted him and accused him of campaigning against the extremists and urging people not to cooperate with the Maoists," Parvati said.

"He tried to convince the rebels that he was not campaigning against them. He pleaded with folded hands to spare him. My husband even offered money to the rebels to spare his life. I fell at their feet and pleaded with folded hands to leave my husband. But the rebels remained unmoved. They kicked me when I requested them to spare my husband," the traumatized Parvati said. "The blood-thirsty men took out a big knife and cut my husband's throat. They, however, allowed me to return home," she added. A shocked Parvati, who will possibly never able to forget those horrifying moments, managed to reach Kalimela police station. Villagers recovered the body from the spot around 5 pm.

Villagers said Madkami was a two-time zilla parishad member and enjoyed good tribal support in the area. He has also written few books on Koya tribes.

On March 28, Maoists had gunned down a former BJP leader identified as Nanda Kumar Kirtani at Sikpali in the Kalimela police station area. Incidentally, Kirtani was a relative of Madkami.

Source: The Hindu

Maoists kill candidate in Malkangiri

Sib Kumar Das

BERHAMPUR: Maoists struck in Orissa’s Malkangiri district on Thursday, killing Somnath Madkami (55), a candidate of the regional ‘Samruddha Odisha’ party for the Assembly elections. The incident coincided with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s visit to the district to attend rallies at Chitrakonda and Malkangiri amid tight security.

The body of Mr. Somnath, who was to contest in Malkangiri, was found near Arshaguda village. His hands were tied and throat was cut with a sharp weapon.
Talking to The Hindu over telephone, his son Lalit Madkami said that around 1 p.m. some persons, carrying a letter, came to their house at Kalimela.

They allegedly called Mr. Somnath for a meeting with the Maoists inside the jungles near Arshaguda.

Mr. Somnath was a close relative of Nanda Kumar Kartami, former zilla parishad president of Malkangiri, who was killed by the Maoists on March 29.

Kartami had left the BJP ahead of the polls. In the past, Mr. Somnath was also associated with the party.

Mr. Lalit alleged that the murders of his father and uncle were part of a political conspiracy. But Sub-Divisional Police Officer of Malkangiri Anup Sahu said evidence pointed to the Maoists.

The Maoists have called for a poll boycott in the district, besides holding out threats to politicians not to take part in electoral process.

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