Constable Santosh Kattam with wife SUnita and their daughter. (HT Photo)
Constable Santosh Kattam with wife SUnita and their daughter. (HT Photo)

Maoists let police constable go after his wife pleads at ‘people’s court’

Constable Santosh Kattam, abducted on May 4 from the Gorna village, was allowed to go home after he agreed to leave his police job and practise farming.
Hindustan Times, Raipur | By Ritesh Mishra | Edited by Ashutosh Tripathi
UPDATED ON MAY 13, 2020 06:49 PM IST

The Maoists allowed a police constable to walk free after his wife and daughter pleaded with them at a ‘Janadalat (people’s court)’ in Bijapur.

Constable Santosh Kattam, abducted on May 4 from the Gorna village, was allowed to go home after he agreed to leave his police job and practise farming.

The constable was posted in Bhadrachalam.

Kattam’s wife Sunita, along with his daughter and a journalist, went into the jungle to plead for the release of her husband. The Maoists’ self-styled Kangaroo court, ‘Janadalat’, held in the jungles of Bijapur district found Santosh ‘not guilty’.

“The Maoists were speaking in a different language in janadalat, we could not understand a word but they were asking questions to the villagers and at last they released my husband,” said Sunita, talking to mediapersons.

The woman said her husband left the house on May 4 to get ration. He was on a bike and never returned.

Two days later, the Maoists sent a message about the ‘janadalat’, about 40 km from Bijapur district headquarters, in which the fate of her husband was to be decided.

“Santosh was released unharmed as people in the ‘Janadalat’ supported him and told Maoists not to kill him. The Maoists released Santosh after he agreed to leave his police job and practise farming at his ancestral village,” said Ganesh Mishra, a local journalist who went with Sunita.

Meanwhile, the police are recording the constable’s statement and also conducting his medical examination.

“We had information that the constable was missing but if we had launched any operation it could have been fatal. His family was also making efforts to trace him and bring him back. We are taking the statement of the constable,” said IG Bastar, Sunderaj P.

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