Autobiography will throw light on life in jail: ‘Maoist’ Shyna

Coimbatore: , , but with Q branch police officers shadowing her every move.
The 47-year-old woman, who is facing 10 cases—including one under the unlawful activities prevention act (UAPA)—obtaining SIM cards using forged documents and seven cases for harbouring a Maoist couple, and criminal conspiracy in Kerala, had obtained conditional bail this month. Shyna, along with her husband Roopesh and three others, were arrested from a bakery at Karumathampatti in Coimbatore district in May 2015.

She is working on an autobiography, which will throw light on the days spent at the Coimbatore Central Prison, Shyna told TOI. “I have a master’s degree in law (human rights) from the Cochin University of Science and Technology. I used to fight for the rights of women even during my college days. In Kerala, power had been alternating between Congress and CPM. But the policies of both the parties are almost the same. Students’ bodies affiliated to CPM don’t protest against the Left government,” she said, sitting at the house of a comrade at Ganapathy.

After completing her studies, Shyna practised as a lawyer for six months. “Meanwhile, I was selected to the post of assistant grade -II and worked at the high court in Ernakulam from June 2002 to January 2008. Usually, the probation period is one year. But I was on probation for five years, because authorities were irked by my activism. I supported human rights and was denied my rights.”

“During the Nandigram violence in West Bengal, a committee from Nandigram visited Ernakulam to explain about the situation to the people of Kerala. When I received the committee members, I was detained by Kerala police along with my two daughters. We were locked up for more than 12 hours. I was later booked for harbouring a Maoist couple in Ernakulam. Kerala police framed me in many cases,” Shyna said.

“Tamil Nadu Q branch police arrested me in 2015 along with my husband and three friends. We were chatting in a bakery. Suddenly a team from Andhra Pradesh special intelligence bureau (AP-SIB) tried to nab us. We raised an alarm and finally were handed over to the Q branch in Coimbatore. The Andhra cops were planning to kidnap us and finish us off in an encounter.”

She has learned a lot about the life in jail, Shyna said. “I plan to write a book titled ‘Slices of My Life’ which will be about how UAPA was slapped on me. I also plan to write about the problems jail warders and women prisoners face. There is no medical facilities for women prisoners in the Coimbatore prison. Jail warders are under severe pressure due to staff shortage and are always angry towards inmates. I would also like to publish articles about the prison department.”

She has not touched a weapon so far, Shyna said. “Police call me a Maoist. But I have not touched a weapon till date. I will fight the cases against me legally and come out free. I want to practice law again,” said Shyna.

Her eldest daughter Ami is studying in a central university and youngest Savera is a class X student. “Both of them had visited Coimbatore to meet me,” she said. Following the bail conditions, she has to appear at the Q branch police station at Peelamedu four times a day and will start work on the book when she gets time, Shyna added.

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