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Sons shun wanton killings: Slain IPS officer’s father to Maoists

Lohardaga was one of the worst LWE hit districts of Jharkhand. The hilly terrains and dense forests in this district gave Maoists to grow and flourish

ranchi Updated: Jun 01, 2017 15:38 IST
B Vijay Murty
HT Photo
HT Photo

Brave Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, Ajay Kumar Singh had died in the line of duty fighting the left wing extremist (LWE) rebels in Jharkhand’s Lohardaga district in 2000 while he was only 29-year-old.

His old parents in Begusarai, Bihar went in deep despair and took years to recover from the shock. The fateful father, Ramashray Singh, a farmer, however, had this deep desire to visit the place where his son had attained martyrdom.

Pesrar, the picturesque hilly, forested area in Lohardaga where the IPS was killed, remained a Maoists hotbed for years before a concerted effort by the local police and central paramilitary force opened this area recently for development and tourism.

Last weekend, the present superintendent of police of Lohardaga, Karthik S, fulfilled the old man’s dream as he took him to Pesrar and the exact place of occurrence. An emotionally charged Ramashray garlanded a bust of his son at the Pesrar CRPF camp and visited the spot where a Peace Park is coming up in his son’s memory.

Karthik has been celebrating Ajay Singh’s achievements and commemorating his sacrifice for the last two years by organising a volleyball tournament in memory of the martyr.

Ramashray Singh remained chief guest of both the seasons of the tournament. Hundreds of young men drawn from the Maoist affected areas, including Pesrar, competed for the Ajay Memorial Trophy, a clear indication of defiance to the Maoists’ diktat not to participate in any event the police organises.

Overwhelmed by the concerted efforts to keep his son’s memory alive 17 years post his death, the farmer from Begusarai couldn’t control his emotions and burst into tears noting: “I had lost a son on this soil, but I am blessed to have got hundreds of sons back from the same soil.”

He even called the Maoists his sons strongly suggesting them to surrender to start life afresh and work towards nation building. He wished that no father should bear the burden of carrying his son’s coffin and wanted the Maoists to give the rest of their lives to their children and families.

For a father in the evening of life, there couldn’t have been a more proud moment to see his son’s sacrifice being commemorated in such a grand scale.

“Ajay Sir was a real hero with an inspiring personality,” Karthik said, adding, post his martyrdom people in the district used to remember him every October 4 by lighting candles and offering prayers.

“When I joined I realised that his story could influence scores of people in rural areas. We made a documentary highlighting how a farmer’s son became an IITian and then an IPS officer who laid down the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty. We followed up holding a volleyball tournament in his memory. Today, thousands of youngsters from the rebel hit areas want to become another Ajay Singh,” Karthik said.