Eid already in released cop Ehsan Khan's
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. »
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
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
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org)