5 December 2022

Nagpur : As relatives heave a sigh of relief after the acquittal of Sai Baba and five others, the verdict does not bring any cheer for Baju Naruto, the brother of Pandu Naruto. Justice has been delayed and denied for the Naruto family living at Murewada, a remote village in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district close to the Chhattisgarh border, as Pandu died in jail on August 25 due to an illness.

” Yes, the lawyer told me that all have been acquitted, ” says Baju, ruing that it is too late now.

One among the six convicted in the Maoism case, Pandu died in jail. Baju had met him four days before his death in the hospital. Pandu is survived by his aged parents, 14 – year – old daughter Karishma, widow Shanti, and two brothers. The family struggles to make a living by tilling their 3 – acre land in the village, said Baju, who stays in Pune, preparing for competitive exams.

 lost life, years & health
lost life, years & health

” Even I will have to leave studies and go back to support my family, ” he says. Baju had met Pandu twice in August. During the meetings, Pandu used to complain about his deteriorating health condition in the jail, he said.

” After meeting him on August 6, I had again gone to the jail for a meeting on August 21. They told me Pandu was in the hospital. I rushed to the medical college. We were told that my brother was in Ward 5. We searched everywhere and could not find him. The next day, we were directed to another ward where I found him but in poor condition, “

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