news Sunday, July 05, 2015 - 05:30
In a lengthy open letter on his blog, Kerala’s Home Minister Ramesh Chennitala has seemingly reached out to the daughters of a recently arrested Maoist couple, and also used the opportunity to ask Maoists to join the “mainstream”. In avuncular fashion, Chennitala has addressed the daughters of jailed Maoist couple Roopesh and Shyna on July 3, saying that he understood the pain of the two teenagers, Ami (19) and Savera (12). Communist Party of India (Maoist) member Roopesh and his wife Shyna, a former clerk in the Kerala High Court, had been arrested from neighbouring Tamil Nadu two months ago. The Kerala police had declared Roopesh as one of the “most wanted” Maoist leaders in the state. “I would like to talk about two poor girls Ami and Savera, daughters of Maoist leaders Roopesh and Shyna. With lots of love and care I say that I am extremely sad as those kids do not get enough love or care from their parents at this age,” Chennitala wrote. Ami is said to be supportive of her parents, and is seven years older than Savera. In an interview with Open magazine close to four years ago, Ami had said “The police kept coming regularly for a week and questioning me. Two days after this incident, Savera came back. They questioned her too. They told her that they would shoot papa. Savera was scared and crying. I watched helplessly. They shouted at my grandma and asked her why she could not give poison to both of us and kill herself.” Chennitala writes that being a father of two children himself, he understands their pain, and tells them that they should not blame themselves for the actions of their parent. He also urged them not follow in their parents’ footsteps. “I know that you are not responsible in any way for the wrong path your parents chose. Your lives should not be affected because of your parents’ activities. You should not follow them. You should study well so that you can contribute very well to the development of our nation. You can meet me at any time and can discuss the problems you face. The path of arms and violence won’t take you anywhere. There will be many to misguide you and glorify your parent’s ideology, but should not opt it, should not follow them. Not destruction, but construction is the great activity, not hatred; love is our duty,” he further writes. Then on, the letter is devoted to the Maoist violence across the country which he says, had claimed 15,000 lives, the role of the state police in curbing the Maoist movement in Kerala, and an appeal to Maoists to join the mainstream. “Former Union Minister Vidyacharan Shukla and some other leaders were killed brutally killed by them. I had very close relationship with Shukla and the incident hurt me a lot,” he says. Chennitalal also told the siblings that the arrest of their parents had contributed greatly to the weakening of Maoist organisations in Kerala and was welcomed by a majority in the state. In the days after Roopesh and Shyna’s arrests, Maoists issued a letter which claimed that the couple’s arrest was not the end of Maoist activity in the state. Chennitala refuted this. “Recently in media one saw letters in name of the Maoists claiming that they are still strong but it is false. Many who support this organization have become quiet.” He went on to say that the Maoists do not enjoy the support of tribals in the area either. “Now none of the tribal organisations support Maoists in any way. They are with government. Maoists tried to put tribals in trouble by making them use weapons. But they failed,” he says. Chennitala assured the sisters that the government was looking for peaceful ways, and also urged Maoists to withdraw from “anti-national activities”. “Though peaceful discussions we can find out solutions.  So I once again request you to join the mainstream peacefully, by giving up the violence and weapons,” he said, signing off.  
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