The four Chhattisgarh policemen released unconditionally from Maoist captivity after 11 days on Thursday said they lived in intense fear after they saw three of their colleagues being killed the day after seven of them were abducted from this district in the impoverished Bastar region on September 19.
“Every moment was distressing as we were also worried for our family members who were clueless about our whereabouts,” constable Subhash Patre (27) told mediapersons here with tears in his eyes.
Assistant Sub-Inspector Sudhruram Bhagat (53) said he and his colleagues were blindfolded before being moved to about 10 different places during their captivity.
“The day for began for us just before sunrise. We were never kept at any one place for more than a day,” he said.
“But we were not treated badly and were given the same food which the Naxalites cooked for themselves in the jungle. Our meals consisted of rice, dal and vegetables,” Bhagat said.
Asked if the extremists told them to quit the police force, constable B. Toppo (45) said, “No, we were never asked to quit our jobs. They left it to us to decide whether to remain in the police force as the Maoists understood this was our only source of livelihood.”
During their captivity the policemen heard the ultras talking to each other but didn’t understand the language they were speaking in. “Perhaps they were speaking in the Gondi dialect or Telugu,” said constable Narendra Goshale (26).
Earlier, state Director General of Police Vishwaranjan said in Raipur, “None of the rebels’ four demands were met. The entire hostage drama was carried out at a small local level. So, the rebels didn’t know what specific demands they could put forth.”