Love and Struggles of a Maoist Couple in Kerala

The couple went underground in 2007, after police arrested the Maoist leader Malla Raji Reddy from their house in Angamaly.

Published: 05th May 2015 11:04 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th May 2015 11:11 PM   |  A+A-

THRISSUR: "You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming." This famous line by Pablo Neruda was quoted in 'Vasanthathile Poomarangal', a novel by the recently arrested Maoist, Roopesh alias Praveen from Peringottukara.

Such was his belief in armed revolution that he waged a war against the State for almost a decade, that led to more than 20 criminal cases against him.

It was in his days as a pre-degree course student at SN College in Naattika that he first became actively involved in the student arm of CPI(ML- Red Flag).  "After that, he joined CPI(ML- Janasakthi), before moving on to CPI (ML-People's War). Later, the parties merged to form CPI(Maoist)," said a comrade who had known Roopesh since his days in the student union.

"There was a lot of factionalism within the earlier CPI (ML) and Roopesh was one among the many who defected in favour of armed revolution," he said.

In his novel, published under two different names - 'Vasanthathile Poomarangal' and 'Maoist' - Roopesh mentions in the author's preface that his wife Shyna, who was arrested along with him, was the anchor that kept him rooted to his ideology.

"I never imagined that the girl I first spoke politics to and invited to the student union at college would later enter my life," he says in the preface.

According to sources who were once close to Roopesh, the couple had first met at SN College, Naattika during their pre-degree years. Both of them were active in Kerala Vidyarthi Sanghatana (KVS), the student arm of CPI (ML Red Flag). "She had later moved on to take a B. Pharm degree and started working at a medical shop near Vadanappilly. He, however, was active in the SFI while studying at Malampuzha ITI," said a cource.

"At that time, an incident occurred where he was badly beaten up by ABVP activists. It drew both of them close together and  they got married," said a source. Their old comrades remember Shyna as a firebrand activist right from her school days.  "She was the most active protester in the KVS-led agitations for a P Rajan memorial statue,” said an old friend. P Rajan was a student of Regional Engineering College (REC), who was branded a left extremist and nabbed by the police during Emergency. He died in police custody.

A statue in his favour had been built at Kakkayam, the location of the infamous police camp, but the memorial was later demolished during the term of LDF Government. After marriage, Shyna had got an LLB degree, followed by Roopesh. She was later employed as an upper division clerk in Kerala High Court. 

The couple went underground in 2007, after police arrested the Maoist leader Malla Raji Reddy from their house in Angamaly.

The recently deceased Maoist leader Sinoj aka Ramesan lived close to Roopesh's house at Vadanappilly. However, sources claimed the two had never crossed paths before working together in the same squad in the Maoist party.

Sinoj, a member of the armed wing, People's Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA), was killed while handling explosives at the Karnataka-Andhra border.

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