Kerala Maoist couple’s daughter vows to get them out

According to officials, the intelligence bureaus of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Telangana joined forces to make the arrests.

Written by Shaju Philip | Valappad (kerala) | Updated: May 6, 2015 8:26 am
Maoists, Maoist couple arrested, maoist leader arrested, maoists arrested, kerela arrests, maoists arrested kerela, kerela maoists arrested, kerela maoist leader arrested, kerela news, india news Ami and Savera with their grandmother Nafeeza, in Thrissur.

It’S a calm afternoon at Shyna Manzil, a day after the Kerala government confirmed the arrest on Friday of the state’s most wanted Maoist couple by Andhra police outside a bakery in Tamil Nadu.

But behind that calm, inside the Thrissur home of Roopesh and Shyna, is their 17-year-old daughter who says her struggle has just begun.

Read: Top Maoist couple Roopesh and Shyna arrested by Andhra Pradesh Police

“I will bring them out. My parents are not meant to be locked up in a room somewhere,’’ says Ami T R.

The arrest of her parents has hit headlines across the country. But Ami, who has completed Class 12 and wants to pursue a career in law, is engaged in a serious discussion with a group of youngsters about the next edition of Padantharam, a monthly magazine launched in March that focuses on the education sector. She is one of its sub-editors.

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“I have grown hearing more slogans than lullabies,” says Ami, adding that her mother had carried her along when she was just 50 days old to a protest venue, placing her inside a makeshift cradle nearby.

Then again, in 2010, Ami and her younger sister Savera were caught by police when they were attending a meeting to discuss a new political movement — they were later made witnesses by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) that took over the case, Ami says.

Maoists, maoist leader arrested, maoists arrested, kerela arrests, maoists arrested kerela, kerela maoists arrested, kerela maoist leader arrested, kerela news, india news Roopesh, in-charge of the Western Ghats zone of the Communist Part of India (Maoist), had been leading the Maoist movement in Kerala along with his wife.

“Police wanted to know whether I had sexual relations with the others arrested in the case. They even tried to force me to undergo a virginity test. But I stood firm. I have the right to go wherever I want and do whatever I want,’’ she says.

Apart from Ami and Savera, the third member of this “family” is 70-year-old Nafeeza, a widow and the mother of Shyna. For her, the arrest of Roopesh and her daughter has come as a bit of a relief.

“Everyday, we used to scan the newspapers for reports of a fake encounter,’’ says Nafeeza, a former employee of the state government’s health service.

But Savera, a Class 7 student, collapsed after hearing the news of the arrest. “She feared that police would torture our parents. But she regained her composure after I spoke to her,’’ says Ami.

Ami recalled that Savera was five years old when Shyna handed the two children over to Nafeeza in January 2008, along with a power of attorney.

Shyna, then a clerk at Kerala High Court, went on to write a letter to the then Kerala CM V S Achuthanandan about the alleged atrocities committed by security forces, saying, “Your police made me a Maoist.’’

Ami says Roopesh has been a “rare visitor to our house” ever since he left the family to actively join the Maoist movement in 2003. “He has not returned to the house after 2007,’’ she says, adding that the two sisters have travelled to different parts of Kerala to meet their father thereafter.

Yet, it has not been easy for Ami and Savera. Their home in the coastal village of Valappad has always been under police watch, says Ami. “My schoolmates were afraid to mingle with me. Many parents have prevented their children from speaking to me. The police had even come to the school where I studied to inquire about me,’’ she adds.

So what now, after her parents’ arrest? “New leaders will emerge. I have an attachment towards the ideology. But I cannot predict whether that impression will stay with me as I grow up,’’ says Ami.

Her grandmother is not so sure about the path her daughter took, though.

“Shyna met Roopesh at college during their early college days. Then, activists of ultra-Left outfits started visiting our house. I did not like it, so I send her to Kollam to study pharmacy. But she continued her relation with Roopesh and the ultra-Left agitations,” says Nafeeza.

She added that the couple studied law after their marriage. “After practicing in Kerala High Court for a while, Shyna got a job as a court clerk,” she says.

Roopesh, meanwhile, got involved in a case related to providing shelter to Malla Raja Reddy, a leader of the erstwhile Peoples War Group, just when he about to enroll as an advocate.

And things have never been the same for this family of five ever since.

“Like other politicians, my parents didn’t cheat anyone or loot public money. They are fighting for the future of every citizen, including mine. When we think about that… we forget all our sorrows,” says Ami.

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  1. A
    Archana
    May 6, 2015 at 11:28 am
    Anyone who questions the sovereignty of INDIA will go behind the bars. some one tell this teenager Its not a movie and its real life.
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    1. A
      anilraj
      May 6, 2015 at 1:53 pm
      Live and let live. All over the world ex communist regimes have chosen the Democratic path. Groups which bs terrorism & killings in any format are anti human and will be treated as terrorist. Democratically elected government has the responsibility to safe guard their citizens against there semetic organisations. We need to isolate these stupid ideologies and move ahead as a nation.
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      1. D
        DA
        May 6, 2015 at 5:32 pm
        Thanks, IE. Touching piece. Now, how about a similar piece of family members of the victims of Naxal violence? Or, are they lesser children of god?
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        1. P
          prashant
          May 6, 2015 at 12:31 pm
          Justice for All is the Ideology, I support it but only with non-violence
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          1. A
            Anoob
            May 6, 2015 at 10:28 am
            Go to china nd see living standard of people
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            1. K
              Kamala Nayar
              May 6, 2015 at 9:12 pm
              what about the victims whom their parents killed mercilessly
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              1. K
                Krishna Kumar
                May 6, 2015 at 11:04 am
                IT is nice to talk of inequalities and sell it to mes. once in power how practical these ideologies are to be evaluated. Equality at the highest level does not make any segregation on quality basis. Thus two equally poor citizens will prove to be of differnt capability and hence remunerating the available resouce equally within them will make one discontent. This will be the beginning of the next war! in the evolutoin of mankind you will see new ideologies develop and also see resistence to changes. Today if Mao were to be alive perhaps he wouldn't have subscribed to his own ideology! MAybe he would have used technology to achieve his vision. Similarly Lenin if living in current era probably would be a different personality. In an age where communication was poor thes types of leaders thrived but if you take a closer look all of them, they exploited the poor in some form or other just like todays rulers the world over.
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                1. M
                  Mohan
                  May 6, 2015 at 3:00 pm
                  You mean they allow you to roam around their country side freely ? Yes China has advanced considerably much more than us but China is a dictatorship and we are a democracy we cannot move at break neck speed in any direction no matter how good and true the cause
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                  1. M
                    Mohan
                    May 6, 2015 at 2:46 pm
                    Young lady while I have sympathy for you - please ask this question to yourself -- Who funds the Maoists who are said to have no money for food and shelter but have plenty to own automatic weapons and landmines, nationalist Indians or enemies of the nation, including foreign ones ?
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