MANJUNATH SHANMUGHAM’S mother, Pramila told HT on phone from Kolar, near Bangalore that she is proud of her son.
A day before Manju’s first death anniversary, she said, “But now my only desire is to see the killers of my son hanged.” Pramila, with whom Manju was very close, had spoken to her son on November 18, a day before the oil mafia struck.
“He sang to me on phone. He said that he was very happy. That’s how he was, carefree yet conscientious and very brave,” Pramila recalled. Busy giving interviews to the electronic and print media persons who, she said, were arriving thick and fast at her Kolar residence, Pramila said, “The entire Shanmugham family including Manju’s younger brother and sister are waiting for the Judgement day. Nothing except Manju’s assailants being hanged would satisfy us,” she said.
Pramila during her frequent visits to her son’s place of posting in Lakhimpur Kheri had spotted several people roaming around the place with firearms. “Even my husband was worried about our son’s safety. But Manju was calm.
He told us, why do you worry? If something is destined it would happen. And why should your son be worried with a gun anyway,” she recalled. On the fateful day, Shanmughams were attending a family function. “We first heard that our son had met with an accident. Then news came that he was shot at and critically injured. My husband fainted. I did not. For, I did not believe the news then. Even now it almost seems like a bad dream,” Pramila said.
Pramila said that IIM-L students, members of Manjunath Shanmugham Trust among various others were regularly attending hearings in Manju’s murder case.
“They are now my biggest strength and my best hope,” she added.