On questioning the boy, we found out that he was a photographer, who had come to Kuthlur to entice villagers to point out naxals.

The case of a “naxal” who was just a wily photo journalist aspirant came to the fore at the monthly Schedule Caste/Schedule Tribe (SC/ST) meeting with the Superintendent of Police held here on Sunday.

According to Shekhar L., a Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader from Belthangady, on May 3, a boy, who identified himself as a student, approached a villager in Kuthlur, Belthangady taluk, asking the villager to give him a list of naxal sympathisers in the area. The boy had even given his visiting card that read “Nagarjuna Sarangamatha, Manjula digital photo and video point, Badamal”, which was reproduced by Mr. Shekhar at the meeting. (Badamala is a village near Dharwad.) The card even had a number.

“He told the villager that he had around 15 people ready to join the cause, and was looking to recruit people from the village into naxalism,” he said. Alarmed by this, the villager approached Mr. Shekhar who alerted the police. However, during the meeting he alleged that the district police had not taken the case “seriously”.

Responding to the allegation, Abhishek Goyal, Superintendent of Police, told him that the investigation had been completed, and the boy had even obtained bail. “On questioning the boy, we found out that he was a photographer, who had come to Kuthlur to entice villagers to point out naxals. His plan was to take their pictures and release it to the media,” he said.

‘Using us as bait’

During the meeting, Sanjeev Kumar and his wife Yashoda, from Ivernadu in Sullia taluk, claimed the police had falsely told the media that their daughter and a murder suspect had been married.

According to the couple, after Deviprasad, a suspect in the death of Meera Balakrishna who was brutally killed in Sullia taluk in 2008, the police had told a local Kannada daily that Deviprasad and their daughter had been married.

“Deviprasad and our daughter had had a relationship, and after they eloped, he was even sent to jail under a kidnap charge. However, since our daughter has not even turned 18, there is no question of them being married,” said Mr. Kumar.

Responding to this, Mr. Goyal said: “It isn’t the police who have said that. You should ask the reporter of the paper where he got the information from.”

Delayed compensation

Bringing up the issue of delayed compensation, S.P Anand, District president, Dalit Sangharsha Samiti (Ambedkar Vada), said that even after many meetings, compensation had not been paid to the victims of atrocity cases.

Mr. Goyal assured him of a review of pending cases before the next meeting.

Keywords: SC/ST meetnaxal

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