Azad mother urges CM to release son

Bhubaneswar: The mother of top Maoist leader Azad, who is now in the Jharpada jail, has requested the chief minister through a letter to release her son after the government announced the new policy and packages for surrendered Naxals.

Azad is behind the bars since June after he surrendered in Hyderabad last year. Azad`s mother too has asked why her son was still in jail though "the Government promised rehabilitaion to bring such persons back into the mainstream to lead a normal life along with general public". The letter stated that Azad would undertake fast unto death inside the jail from March 13.

The state government announced the new surrender policy for Naxals on February 21, 2012. The mother of Azad has written the letter to the chief minister barely 15 days after the government announced the latest policy. Describing herself as the unfortunate mother of Azad, Dunna Kamulamma stated that both the Centre and the state governments under the policies assure surrendered Naxalites to bring them back into the mainstream to lead normal life and she also "had great hopes of leading a normal life along with her son". But she rued that her "happiness was short-lived".

Kamulamma in the letter has mentioned that her son Azad had surrendered before the Andhra Pradesh police on May 18, 2011 and he was released after six days on May 24, 2011. Kamulamma rued that four days after his release Azad was taken into custody by the Odisha police on May 28, 2011 on the assurance that he would be let off after interrogation at the Palasa police station. She stated that contrary to that promise Azad was rearrested by the Odisha police on June 1, 2011.

Azad`s mother, expressing her unhappiness, stated that while many other surrendered Naxals continue to lead normal life after surrender as per the law, her son was still behind the bars. She has also enclosed the surrender certificate provided to Azad by the Andhra police in which the Andhra police had assured him to lead a normal life after surrender.

The state Crime Branch has submitted chargesheet against Azad for his alleged involvement in the killing of Swami Laxmanananda. Azad was the main accused in the Nayagarh attack in 2008 and in the ambulance explosion case in Kondhmal.

Azad was also involved in the attack on G Udayagiri police staion and jail in 2006. Under the new surender policy for Naxals, the court would decide cases against such Maoists against whom major cases were pending. However, the government could consider of withdrawing such cases which were minor in nature and even of providing free legal assistance. The reaction of the chief minister could not be available as he was on a tour to New Delhi.