Widow of a C-60 commando: A single woman can't fight everywhere

Updated: Apr 14, 2019, 19:36 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon

The widow of a C-60 commando, who was killed in an operation in 2005, on how naxalism has destroyed families like hers

Widow of a C-60 commando: A single woman can't fight everywhere
Alka Randive, 40, in the Martyrs Room, which was constructed at the Gadchiroli police headquarters in 2014, in memory of officers who died in naxal operations. Pics/Suresh Karkera

While life is not easy for the surrendered naxals, officers who were killed in the name of their cause, have had it worst. It's been 13 years since a former police constable, Alka Randive, 40, attached with the Gadchiroli police headquarters, lost her husband, a C-60 commando, in a naxal operation, but she is still seeking closure. "I took care of a 16-year-old pregnant naxal woman, who had surrendered and was in my custody. In return, they [naxals] shot dead my husband on December 26, 2005," she says.

At the time, Alka was four months pregnant. Her husband Avinash Randive - he was killed at Tippagad Hills in the jurisdiction of Purada police station - is among the 194 martyrs (151 state police and remaining central force), who laid down their lives fighting naxalism since 1991.

Avinash Randive
Avinash Randive

Alka joined the police force in 1998. She met her husband at the district police headquarters in Gadchiorli, and the two tied the knot on May 5, 2002. The couple was expecting their first child, when tragedy hit them.

On December 24, 2005, Avinash received a phone call from his command centre asking him to join immediately. Two days later, she learnt that Avinash had succumbed to bullet injuries. Life changed completely after that. She handed over Avinash's insurance fund of Rs 7.5 lakh to his parents, as they were old and had no source of income. Alka also quit her job as she was in the advanced stage of pregnancy and had to take care of her newborn, Sanchit. "Instead of using that fund wisely, my in-laws distributed it to two of Avinash's brothers. They also got my name off my husband's share of the property," she says. "Since then, I have been fighting to get my husband's share for Sanchit. I do not want to take the family to court. A single woman cannot fight everywhere."

Fortunately, for Alka, the police force has been supportive. She still receives Avinash's monthly emolument of Rs 40,000, and will continue to do so, till her husband would have otherwise retired from the force (at the age of 58). "Had it not been for the support from the police department, life would have been a struggle for widows like me," says Alka, who is giving back to the force by counselling widows of martyrs.

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