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It's sweets and prayers as freed cops head home

Monday, September 06, 2010 03:21:22 PM, Imran Khan, IANS

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Eid already in released cop Ehsan Khan's village

Smiles returned to the faces of the wife and 80-year-old father of Ehsan Khan Monday and hundreds of people gathered near their home in Jharkhand when TV footage confirmed that the cop, who had been abducted by Maoists in Bihar over a week ago, had been released.  

Patna/Ranchi: They thanked god, smeared each other with colour and burst firecrackers. The festivals of Eid, Holi and Diwali seemed to have descended all at once for the families and village folk of three policemen who made their way home Monday after an agonising week in the captivity of Maoists in Bihar.

Their joy knew no bounds when policemen Abhay Yadav and Rupesh Kumar Sinha - both from Bihar - and Jharkhand native Ehsan Khan were released by Maoists "safe and healthy" around 6 a.m. Monday in Lakho Chak area of Lakhisarai district, about 150 km from Patna.

"I am very happy. I can't express my joy when my husband told me over telephone that he has been released and was safe," Rajni Devi, wife of abducted policeman Abhay Yadav, told IANS over telephone from their village Mohanpur in Begusarai district.

She said she was eagerly waiting for her husband to reach home.

Abhay Yadav's 70-year-old mother Naina Devi said, "It is like rebirth for my son. We are celeberating the day by playing Holi and bursting firecrackers."

She thanked all for helping secure the release of her son.

Other villagers were also in a festive mood unlike two days ago when hundreds of them blocked a national highway to protest the Bihar government's failure to rescue Abhay.

Pramod Yadav, a villager, said: "It was good news for all of us that Abhay was released. People will welcome his arrival. The entire village had been tense."

Manju Sinha, mother of Rupesh Kumar, told IANS over telephone: "We are celebrating the day. It is like Diwali for us."

A large number of people gathered at her home. "I offered prayers and will visit temples to thank god," she said.

A similar sentiment was expressed by Rupesh's father Uday Shankar Sinha.

The family members of policeman Ehsan Khan were already preparing for Eid, which is due Saturday. Last week Khan's family in Mandar block of Ranchi in Jharkhand stopped preparations for Eid as he was in the Maoists' captivity.

"We will celebrate this Eid like never before," Ehsan's father Mohiuddin Khan said. "We will celebrate Eid Monday, ahead of the real Eid, as my son is reaching home. We are preparing for it already."

He said it was great news in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. "We have offered prayers to thank Allah for his safe release," Khan said.

Ehsan's wife Farida Khanam said she would cook a special dish for her husband and her children were preparing to welcome their father. The family distributed sweets as hundreds gathered at their home.

However, in another Jharkhand home, there was only gloom. Lucas Tete was the only policeman to be killed among the four abducted by Maoists Aug 29. His bullet-riddled body was found near a forest in Lakhisarai district.

The four policemen were kidnapped by Maoists after a six-hour gunfight in Lakhisarai Aug 29.
 


(Imran Khan can be contacted at imran.k@ians.in)

 

 


 

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