Of un-kept promises, shattered dreams

BJ Mirror Correspondent

Promise: Marshal Tuti, 38, former CPI(Maoist) area commander of Bundu-Tamar, who surrendered with arms will be kept in open jail.
Status: Salomi Tuti, wife of Marshal says: My husband has to pass (all) 16 months in a prison cell.

Promise: Besides cash compensation, the family will be paid maintenance money and expenses on children’s education.
Status: School fees for my two daughters and a son were not paid. Of the cash amount of Rs 5 lakh promised, only half was paid. I am suffering from brain malaria and have no money for treatment. And the monthly stipend of Rs 3,000 is too meagre to meet my expense, including house rent and food for four persons: Salomi Tuti.

Promise: The government will bear the legal costs.
Status: I meet the legal expenses. Moreover, I also have to give money to my husband as there is no proper food arrangement inside the jail. –Salomi.

Promise: A four-decimal plot will be given for constructing a house.
Status: “No, nothing of the sort has happened”, Salomi says and laughs bitterly.

Home secretary JB Tubid admitted that “there were delays in transferring the rebels to open jails. They will be shifted soon as the work to appoint staff for open jail is complete”. He, however, did not give any date for shifting. He cited reasons such as ‘precautionary steps before allotment of land’ and blamed the district officials for miffed payments.

Thirty-two-year-old Pustam, on the other hand, spoke about his cousin Chandji. “His mother, father and two younger brothers are waiting for him. But Chand has not been able to contact his family since his surrender”, said the youth.

Sanjay Pramanik, dreaded rebel Kundan Pahan’s deputy, had surrendered on August 14, 2010. He was luckier, being released from jail on May 11, 2011. But he did not get the full amount promised in exchange.

It may be recalled that of the 21 Maoists who surrendered in Ranchi under the amnesty programmeof the Jharkhand government and were lodged at Birsa Munda Central Jail, only two have been released so far. Home Secretary Tubid, however, said that of 50 and odd Maoists, who surrendered in Jharkhand, 20 have been released and have joined the social mainstream.

Sixteen months have gone by. Fund crunch nags Salomi, who is suffering from brain malaria. She is not alone to live in paradoxical situation. “I can neither go to my village due to the presence of the Maoists nor live in a city as it is too costly. Sometimes, I curse my husband’s decision to surrender”, Salomi rues her fate.


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