The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Crusader calm, composed

Ranchi, Oct. 27: The father in Babulal Marandi could not overpower the crusader against extremism in him.

The former chief minister today demonstrated his steely character and resolve to continue his fight against extremism even as his son, Anup Marandi, was killed by rebels with 18 others at Chilkhari in Giridih in small hours today.

Tears didn’t roll down Marandi’s cheeks in Ranchi, where he received the information about his son’s death, nor at Giridih, where his son was killed. He remained calm and composed till he performed Anup’s last rites.

Marandi was too stunned and shocked to give voice to his emotions when he was given the news of his son’s death around 3.30 this morning. The staff at his residence called up one of his journalist friends, who broke the news to Marandi.

According to the scribe, the former chief minister was speechless for the next 45 minutes. Marandi just murmured “yeah kya ho gaya” (alas! what has happened).

Marandi rushed to Giridih with DGP V.D. Ram at 8.30am. Raj Dhanwar legislator Ravindra Rai, who accompanied the former chief minister to Chilkhari from Ranchi, said: “Marandi has demonstrated exemplary patience. He just had a glimpse of his son and said the post-mortem should be conducted. Thereafter, he marched to cremate him at Kodaibank, his ancestral village.”

After watching the bodies of his son and 18 others, Marandi said: “Now it seems one has to surrender before extremists or do something.”

He also admonished his brother Nunulal Marandi for attending the cultural programme late in the night.

He told Nunulal: “Nineteen people have been killed because of your foolishness. I have no regret for losing my son but I’m feeling sorry for 18 others.”

The former chief minister of the state has two sons. The elder, Sanatan Marandi, was in Ranchi and accompanied Marandi to Giridih. Anup, 21, had got married in June this year and was not in active politics.

Talking to the media before leaving for Chilkhari by the state government’s helicopter, Marandi said both the state government and his family members were responsible for the ghastly incident.

On if his family members were not being given adequate security, Marandi’s cryptic reply was that they would automatically be safe the day the state government provided security to each and every citizen of Jharkhand.

Marandi was candid enough to point out that his family members should have avoided attending the function late in the night as they had the highest threat perception from the Naxalites.

Marandi said his personal loss would not be a deterrent in his crusade against Naxalism. “The fight will continue,” he asserted.

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