Saturday, July 04, 2009

Police honour bravehearts

SANTOSH K. KIRO


Ranchi, July 4: Naxalites may have robbed them of their dear ones, but could break their spirit to fight back.

Widows and and relatives of Jharkhand Armed Police-I (JAP-I) jawans, who made sacrificed their lives in anti-Naxalite operations, today displayed rare courage by supporting the state’s fight against the outlawed outfit.

“I would like to join the Jharkhand Armed Police, just as my father had done,” said Akash Chhetri (6), the son of Suraj Bahadur Chhetri. A student of Firaylal Public School in the city, Akash probably does not remember having seen his father, who had died in a landmine blast along with three other JAP-I jawans on August 22, 2004.

Akash, along with the kin of eight other martyrs, were today felicitated by the home department at a function at JAP-I premises. Akash’s father, Suraj Bahadur and three others — Vikas Kumar Rana, Dhiren Tamang and Kundan Tamang — had died in the blast triggered by Naxalites in the forest of Rania in Khunti district.

“Life has been difficult after we lost the sole bread-earner of the family. But we pulled on somehow,” said Poonam Khetri, the daughter of Shadeo Khetri, one of the two bodyguards of Sunil Mahto, the MP killed by Naxalites on March 4, 2007. The other bodyguard, Deoraj Rai, also lost his life in the Naxalite attack.

The martyrs’ relatives, who recalled their dear ones with tears in their eyes, appreciated the gesture of the police department.

JAP-I commandant Suman Gupta had organised today’s one-of-a-kind function to share the grief of the family members.

“The sacrifice of family members can’t be even thought of. In due course, they feel neglected by the government. Such programmes are important for them to recognise their sacrifices,” said Hare Krishna Mishra, the inspector-general of police (JAP).

Deputy IG (JAP) Sampat Meena, who was also present, said she would ensure that other JAP battalions organises similar events for their martyrs.

“I urge the government to give a job to my daughter because after my son died no one is there to earn for my family,” said Sita Devi, the mother of Krishna Kumar Chhetri, who was killed in a Maoist landmine blast in Bokaro on May 2, 2005.

As he was unmarried, the police would have to find a way out to give a job to Krishna’s sister.

The relatives of Yam Thapa and Ram Bahadur Chhetri, who had also been killed in anti-Naxalite operations, were also felicitated.

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