Maoists treated us like guests
Posted by Admin on September 14, 2009
ROURKELA: “We were afraid that the Maoists will kill us. But our fear disappeard soon when they started treating us almost like guests,” said Topadihi railway station master Ratnakar Majhi, who was abducted by Red rebels.
Majhi’s views echoed the sentiments of four other railway employees who were also abducted in the wee hours of Friday and released later. “It was around 1 am on Friday when more than 60 armed Maoists barged into the station. The attackers told us that they had taken Topadihi railway station under their control. There was five of us at the station at that time. They blindfolded us one by one with black tapes before ordering us to follow them,” the station master said after returning to Rourkela on Saturday.
“We were trembling with fear. We had no option but to follow their orders. We walked for hours without knowing where we were going. We finally stopped at a place and the tapes were removed from our eyes. I saw that it was a densely forested area under a hill. The Maoists had set up their camp there,” Majhi added.
The railway staff said the Maoists had assured them of their safety. Assistant station master Upendra Kumar said, “They repeatedly told us: Don’t worry, we will not harm you. You would be released soon.’ We were offered lunch, breakfast and dinner at the proper time and never ill treated by them.”
Kumar added that the rebels had even poked fun at police. “They said police had arrested 30 innocent villagers because the men in uniform did not have the guts to go after real Maoists like them.”
The five were released about 5 pm on Friday. A couple of Maoists had even guided them back through a forest path. They reached Rourkela on Saturday evening. TOI