Rupam (left) and her son at Chhapra sadar hospital.
Chhapra, Nov. 9: Rupam had joined the Maoists with a dream in her eyes — to fight to change the “system” and serve the deprived people.
But the woman in her early 20s had not foreseen what life would have in store for her — a solitary life in prison and the status of a single mother with a newborn by her side. To make matters worse, Rupam isn’t certain who the father of the boy is, a confession that hints at frequent reports of sexual exploitation of women in Naxalite camps.
A woman cadre of the Red brigade, Rupam, alias Nilu, gave birth to a boy on Monday at Chhapra sadar hospital. The woman was seven-month pregnant when she was brought to Chhapra jail two-and-a-half months ago. Earlier, she was serving term in the Motihari jail for her alleged involvement in a number of robbery and murder cases.
According to sources in the Chhapra jail, Rupam was taken to the hospital on Sunday after she complained of labour pain. She was brought back to the jail in a rickshaw after she gave birth to the boy the following day.
On her way back to prison, Rupam told The Telegraph that she was proud of becoming the mother to a boy. “God is kind enough to bless me with a son. I do not have a husband and I don’t know who the father of this child is,” she said.
“How does it matter if a child has no father? Society will name my son and take care of him,” Rupam added as the rickshaw carrying her and the child neared the jail premises. The woman also refused to divulge details of when she had joined the outfit.
Jail sources said Rupam was brought to Chhapra jail in connection with a murder and robbery committed in 2007. The sources added that on June 8, 2007, a group of Maoists, including Rupam, had attacked Bagh Express, killed a Government Railway Police constable and a havildar and ran away with four rifles. She was serving term in Motihari in four other cases.
Chhapra jail superintendent Kumar Mangalam said Rupam was a resident of Tariyani village in Sheohar district and he was not sure if she was married. He added that jail records had mention of Rupam’s father, Paldhari Ram.
Mangalam said no one has ever visited the woman during her confinement in Chhapra jail. “I have asked everybody in the jail to take care of the woman and her child,” the superintendent said, adding that Rupam was sad to learn that no relatives came to meet her.
“She is happy to have a child,” the superintendent said. Perhaps, Rupam has finally got something to look forward to in life.