‘Want to be with my ailing mother’: Ex Maoist leader PA Shyna seeks unconditional bail

PA Shyna who was arrested along with her husband Roopesh and three others in Coimbatore in May 2015 for alleged Maoist activities spoke to TNM.
 ‘Want to be with my ailing mother’: Ex Maoist leader PA Shyna seeks unconditional bail
‘Want to be with my ailing mother’: Ex Maoist leader PA Shyna seeks unconditional bail
Written by:

PA Shyna now lives alone in a small well-lit apartment in one of the main residential areas of Coimbatore. The former Maoist leader who was released on bail in August 2018 after almost three years in prison, is now knocking on all doors to get her bail conditions relaxed. "My mother is in a critical condition and has been admitted in ICU. She is 77 years old and these might be her last days," she begins. 

Shyna, an advocate, was arrested along with her husband Roopesh and three others on May 1, 2015 for Maoist activities in three southern states -- Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. At the time of their arrest, police officials said that Roopesh and Shyna were preparing for an armed struggle in the three states.

Roopesh, a law graduate with a diploma in Information Technology was the in-charge of Western Ghats zone of the Communists Party of India (Maoist), and his wife Shyna, who was an upper division clerk at the Kerala High Court, were leading the movement in Kerala, reported Indian Express.  Prior to their arrest in 2015, Roopesh and Shyna had gone into hiding for many years after they were accused of sheltering Malla Raji Reddy, a Maoist leader. Shyna had even gone on to write a letter to then Chief Minister VS Achutanandan in 2008, stating, “Your power and police have made me a Maoist. You have given me the political will to involve in political activities instead of just being an ideological sympathiser." 

After spending a good share of her jail time in Coimbatore and Kozhikode prisons, Shyna was released on August 14, 2018. Despite not being confined to her prison cell, the former Maoist leader says things have not improved since her release. "I have freedom of movement, of course. But it is not of any use to me now since my ailing mother is in Thrissur. I have to sign my bail register every day at Peelamedu, Coimbatore. So I cannot really attend to my mother now," she explains. Her bail conditions have tied her down to Coimbatore since she is required to appear and sign on the register in Peelamedu at 10.30am every day. 

Shyna's mother is suffering from acute ventricular failure and has been in a private hospital in Thrissur since Monday. Although the doctors suggest a surgery as a last resort option, they hesitate to take it forward given her mother's age. "The condition she is in now is grave and the doctors need a blood relative in the hospital all the time for emergencies. That is why I have to step up," she explains. 

‘No tangible offences in my name’

Shyna has 17 cases pending in her name as on date -- 10 in Tamil Nadu and seven in Kerala for various offences including criminal conspiracy, waging war against the state and forgery. "There are no tangible offences in my name. Of the 17 cases against me, 10 cases relate to procuring SIM cards on fake identification documents. Those are all false cases put to just implicate me," she alleges, refusing to divulge more of her time underground.

The cases are now in various stages of prosecution in both the states. Charges are yet to be framed in cases filed in Tamil Nadu and her discharge petition is pending to be heard in Kerala due to her applying for leave every time it comes up for hearing. "How can I appear there when I have to sign in Coimbatore every day at that particular time? So I keep filing leave petition and hence hearing gets postponed," she adds. 

Shyna and Roopesh have two daughters Ami and Savera, who are both now in Bholpur, West Bengal. "Ami was looking after my mother and Savera when I was in prison. The arrest shook Savera and she dropped her studies to deal with it. So I sent Savera with her since I did not want her to get involved here," says Shyna. 

Shyna's says her life has become more difficult since she came out of jail. Constant vigilance by the police makes people uncomfortable, she says. "Because of this, I am not able to rent a place to stay. Police watch me most of the times. Sometimes they come and inquire with my neighbours about me, which makes my life difficult. I am an advocate and I cannot even practice my profession. That's the situation I am in now," she rues.

Shyna has moved the Madras High Court seeking unconditional bail. However, realising the tough spot she is in, she adds that she would be fine even if it is reduced to signing once a week since travelling every day to Thrissur to visit her mother and coming back to Coimbatore to sign the register would be practically difficult. 

"I am now visiting her once in a month. I want the court to take a humanitarian approach on my request. Looking at the signs, this might be my mother's last days. I want to be to be with her. I owe her at least this," she signs off, picking up her purse to go to Peelamedu to sign the register. 

Related Stories

No stories found.
The News Minute