The raging debate over the fake encounters has rekindled the hope of an old father in Thamarakulam village in Alappuzha district. Pranesh Kumar alias Javed Sheikh, son of MR Gopinathan Pillai (74), was among four persons shot dead on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004.
The Gujarat special police team, which shot these people, had claimed that they were Laksher-e-Tayyeba operatives on a mission to kill Chief Minister Narendra Modi. On a tip-off from central intelligence agencies, they chased the foursome in a car from Pune. All four, including Ishrat Jahan Raza from Mumbai, were bumped off when they tried to challenge the police, the team had claimed.
However, Pillai, a retired employee of Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL), says his son was innocent. “When I went to Ahmedabad after Pranesh’s death, many people told me that he was finished off at some other place. His body was dumped on the outskirts of the city. Since I was not financially strong, I couldn’t follow up the case,” Pillai says, adding that he is now planning to move the Bombay High Court HC for a CBI inquiry into his son’s death.
More than anything else, this poor father wants to get rid of the terrorist stigma on his slain son. “This tag really hurts me. Not only me, my grandchildren are also treated with contempt by the society. Forget others, even most of my relations treat them that way,” he laments.