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Anguish at killer within

Gajendra Mishra is anguished not because his eldest son and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) constable Abhay Mishra was killed in yesterday's Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh, but because his own countrymen killed his son.

By RAMASHANKAR in Patna
  • Published 26.04.17
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A relative of Saurabh Kumar holds the slain CRPF jawan's six-month-old daughter Pritam in his arms at Danapur, Patna, on Tuesday. (PTI)

Patna, April 25: Gajendra Mishra is anguished not because his eldest son and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) constable Abhay Mishra was killed in yesterday's Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh, but because his own countrymen killed his son.

"Had Abhay been killed in a terrorist attack, I would have no regrets," said Gajendra, 54, a farmer in Tulsi village of Bhojpur district. "But he has been killed by his own men (read Maoists). I am puzzled why these Maoists are killing sons of the poor."

Abhay Mishra, 23, was one of the 25 CRPF personnel killed in the Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh's Sukma district on Monday. Six of the dead constables are from Bihar. The others are K.K. Pandey, 30, from Rohtas, Ranjeet Kumar 26, Sheikhpura, Naresh Yadav, 41, Darbhanga, Saurabh Kumar, 26, Danapur, and Abhay Kumar, 27, Vaishali.

Abhay Mishra's mother Madhuri Mishra, 50, lamented that the last time she spoke with her son was not long enough.

"He called me on my phone about 10 days ago," she said. "But the phone got disconnected after a few seconds because of poor network. After that we tried to contact him but in vain. Since then the family had no contact with Abhay, who joined the CRPF about four years ago."

The slain jawan's 20-year-old brother Ajeet said Abhay had been injured in an encounter with Maoists about two months ago. He was admitted in a Raipur hospital but was not allowed to meet the family after he recovered.

"Finally, we lost him," an angry Ajeet said. "Whenever the family would pressure him to get married, Abhay would say 'I will get married only after my younger brother gets a job after completing his studies'. His dream to build a house for the family at the ancestral village has also remained unfulfilled."

At Bharandua village under Chenari police station in Sasaram, the Rohtas district headquarters town, the 11-year-old daughter of Krishna Kumar Pandey has been staring blankly at the people who have gathered in the house to condole the family's loss.

"He had promised to come on April 28 to attend a wedding in the neighbourhood and had applied for leave also," Krishna Kumar's wife Anita (26) said in between wails of grief.

The family got the news of the attack around 8pm yesterday. Rajvanshi Pandey, a relative and inspector posted with the CRPF's Allahabad office, was the first to convey the message to the family. But the news about Krishna Kumar's death was confirmed around 2am today, said his younger brother and a Border Security Force jawan Amarjeet Pandey.

Amarjeet said Krishna Kumar had called on his phone on April 19 and discussed their plan to attend the wedding in the neighbourhood.

"It was the last conversation we had with KK (as Krishna Kumar was called in the family)," said Amarjeet, who had come to the village from Indore where he is posted.

KK had joined the force in 2010. The family said Anita, who has been fainting, is being consoled by her relatives who have rushed to the village.

KK was the youngest among the six children of the late Saryu Pandey, and had visited his village in March, said his eldest brother Ashok Pandey, who works in the transport business.

Constable Ranjeet Kumar, who was a resident of Phulchord village in Sheikhpura district, is survived by his wife Sunita Devi and sons Satish (4) and Vikas (2).

Sunita said her last conversation with her husband was on Sunday.

"He assured me that he would visit home on May 28 to take part in a yagna to be organised by local residents. He even donated money for the puja. But destiny had something else in store for him," said Sunita, her voice choking up.

Ranjeet had joined the CRPF in 2011 and got married the next year. Childhood friend Vikas remembered him as a great lover of cricket.

The grieving relatives of Saurabh Kumar in his house in the Danapur Cantonment (post office Maidan in Patna) questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"How long will our sons of the soil be butchered like this?" a relative asked. "Will such mindless killings ever be stopped? When will the government (Centre) wake from its slumber to stop such massacres? We want justice from PM Modi."

Saurabh's mother Rekha Devi (50) fainted on hearing the news about her son's death. When reporters arrived at the house, the mother chased them away. Saurabh's father Kamlesh, a state government employee, is posted in Patna. Saurabh is survived by wife Priti and their six-month-old daughter Pritam.

Chief minister Nitish Kumar has expressed grief over the incident and announced ex gratia of Rs 5 lakh each for the families of the constables from Bihar who died in the attack. Independent MLC Devesh Thakur has also announced that we will distribute his one year's salary among the families of the dead.