Judge quotes Varavara Rao to Q Branch in Maoist case
Unhappy with the way the investigators are dragging the case for nearly seven years, Judge Pa. U. Chemmal quoted from, ‘Captive Imagination: Letters from Prison’, by Varavara Rao, who was arrested by NIA in connection with Bhima-Koregaon violence
CHENNAI: A sessions court judge in Tamil Nadu has quoted well-known left activist and poet Varavara Rao during a trial of a Q Branch case in which two Maoists are prime accused and have been lodged in jail without bail since 2016.
Unhappy with the way the investigators are dragging the case for nearly seven years, Judge Pa. U. Chemmal, Kancheepuram sessions court quoted from, ‘Captive Imagination: Letters from Prison’, by Varavara Rao, who was arrested in August 2018 by NIA in connection with Bhima-Koregaon violence that happened in January that year.
Varavara Rao was released on bail on medical grounds after five years in August 2022. The accused in the Q Branch case, Palani alias Mahalingam was arrested in 2016 from Thrissur, Kerala, while the other accused Reena Joyce Mary was nabbed from Kancheepuram the same year.
The two – both believed to be strong Naxal activists – were allegedly giving training to fresh recruits in Kodaikanal, when the police busted the training camp in the year 2008 and killed Maoist Naveen Prasad in an encounter.
Two of their alleged associates – Ajitha and Kuppu Devraj – were killed in a police encounter in Kerala later.
“I am recording this with a heavy heart,” said the judge during trial on September 13.
“Have cases been registered as per SC guidelines in connection with the fake encounter death of Ajitha and Kuppu Devaraj? The investigation officer has not given any explanation,” the judge noted.
“Varavara Rao may be facing cases. But I am quoting his poem like that of Tagore and Bharathi.”
Open those dockets
And you will see our faces in those papers.
You fold us lengthwise
And like mailbags sealed
Addressed and tossed aside,
You scribble adjournments on our backs
And cast us aside.
Arguments and counterarguments
Men’s heads roll
And their hearts are frozen
Between penalty and goal
In the court halls
— reads the poem quoted by Judge Chemmal.
The case was later posted for further hearing.