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What survived: a constable’s note to his wife about love and a daily date with death

Suraj Bahadur Thapa of the Eastern Frontier Rifles — one of the 24 West Bengal policemen killed by Maoists on Monday evening — had a premonition of death.

Written by Madhuparna Das | Kolkata |
February 17, 2010 2:30:50 am

Suraj Bahadur Thapa of the Eastern Frontier Rifles — one of the 24 West Bengal policemen killed by Maoists on Monday evening — had a premonition of death. So in the days,perhaps hours,before the attack on the camp,the lonely policeman started to write to the most important person in his world — his wife.

In the seven-and-a-half-page letter,which remained unfinished and unposted,he told her he loves her.

“Meri pyari pyari Laxmi,meri pyari pyari mithi mithi patni,I love you,” Thapa wrote in a green diary with a rose on its cover. “Main jahaan bhi rahunga tumhe pyar karta rahunga,saaton janam tumhe pyar karta rahunga,mar bhi gaya to bhi tumhe pyar karta rahunga.”

Thapa’s diary was found among the charred remains of the camp this morning. It had a bullet hole through it. Next to it was found a picture of Laxmi and him with their two children,a boy and a girl. On the back of the picture,Thapa had written,“My Wife Laxmi Thapa,My son Rohon Thapa,My dotar (daughter) Isha Thapa”.

“Laxmi,main tumse bahut pyar karta hun,” Thapa wrote. “Tumne mujhe ek beta aur ek beti diya hai. Mere jivan ka sab se sukhad samay tha 15th December 1988,jab tumhari mujhse shadi hui thi.”

A deep sense of foreboding — coincidentally articulated only a few hours before the attack on the EFR camp by Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium who told the Supreme Court in New Delhi that “every officer in the area is marked for death” and policemen “wear a death band on their heads when they go into the forests” — comes through in nearly every line of Thapa’s letter.

“Agar main na rahun… tum beta beti dono ki achchhi tarah parvarish karna,” Thapa wrote to Laxmi. “Mera yahaan har samay jaan ka khatra rahta hai,kab kahin kuchh bhi ho sakta hai… duty pe jaan haath mein leke chalna parta hai…”

At places,Thapa is swept away by emotion for the wife he evidently missed terribly.

“My dear Lux,main tumhare bina ek pal bhi jee nahin sakunga. Tumse mera jo sambandh bhagwan ne jora hai,shayad kuchh soch samajh ke hi jora hai… Sang-sang chalunga ban ke tera sajan,aa teri maang bhar doon o meri dulhan…”

He goes on in Hindi: “I know that I cannot do much for my family,and it is you who has to bear all responsibilities. I always want to see you happy. When I see you happy,I get peace of mind… Laxmi,the love you have given me,I have never got from anyone since I was born. Very few fortunate people get a wife like you.”

Yet,Thapa was aware of his responsibilities as a policeman.

“Abhi desh ka haal-khabar theek nahin hai,” he wrote. “I love you a lot,but I also love my country. The situation in our country is getting worse with every passing day.”

For this situation,Thapa held the politicians of India responsible. “The party-politics of a few people has endangered the existence of the country. We are also suffering…”

Here,the letter ends.

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