Wife struggling to make ends meet; son never went to school

Expressing happiness over the commutation of death sentence of her husband, Sekar ‘Meesai’ Madaiah (65), to life imprisonment by the Supreme Court in the case relating to the 1993 Palar landmine blasts during the operations to nab forest brigand Veerappan, Thangamma pleaded on Tuesday that he be released so that they could lead a peaceful life for the rest of their lives.

As the news spread, relatives visited her house and expressed confidence that Madaiah would be released. Gurusamy, a relative, said that considering their poverty, the government should release him.

The other three convicts whose death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment are Simon, Gnanaprakash and Bilavendran. Twenty-two Special Task Force and Forests Department personnel died in the blast.

When The Hindu met Thangamma in her thatched-roof house at Mettukottai in Kottamadavu village in Kolathur block, 69 km from here, she said that one of her relatives broke the news over phone to her and she caught the news on television later. “He has been in prison for 20 years and there is no end to my suffering,” she said, breaking down.

Thangamma earns between Rs.20 and Rs.50 a day by selling lemon in nearby villages. But her earnings are irregular and inadequate to meet her family’s needs. She did not have enough money to fight the case and had sought legal aid.

Her eldest son Madesh was killed in 1993 in an encounter by Karnataka police when he was 20 years, she said.

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