Thursday, June 14, 2007

NOTICE: The Week's story on my "Life in Jail"

This week's THE WEEK magazine has done a feature on my "Life in Jail". There is only one clarification I wish to make to what Mr. Murali Eadezhath, the state correspondent, has written: I was not acquitted due to 'benefit of doubt'; for the record, there was no doubt whatsoever about my non-complicity, and the acquittal was honorable.

Life in jail
- Murali Eadezhath

Amit Jogi managed elections, wrote play

The acquittal of former Chhattisgarh chief minister Ajit Jogi's son Amit Jogi in a murder case has come as a big relief for the Jogi family and the state unit of the Congress, especially the Jogi camp.

"The judgment was keenly awaited. For four years this case has been the central point of my life, to prove my innocence," Amit told THE WEEK, after a special court [gave him the benefit of the doubt- see above] and acquitted him on May 31.

The CBI arrested Amit in June 2005 for allegedly masterminding the murder of former Nationalist Congress Party treasurer Ramavatar Jaggi in June 2003. He spent around a year in Raipur Central Jail. Though the Bilaspur-based Chhattisgarh High Court granted him bail earlier this year, he was re-arrested on May 2 after the Supreme Court overruled the decision.

Ajit relied on his son's political abilities even while in jail. Amit is believed to be the key strategist in the Congress victory in the Assembly by-election from Kota last December and the Lok Sabha by-election from Rajnandgaon this year. A Congress worker said Amit was significantly involved in assigning work to each party worker during the elections.

So what are Amit's plans post-acquittal? "I like to meet people and want to help them. But that doesn't mean I have immediate plans to enter politics," he said. Apparently, life in jail has brought Amit closer to God, and the poor. "I came face to face with the sad and dark side of life while in jail. Now I yearn to be with the poor and the needy to give them as much as I can," he said. Amit said he met people in jail whose biggest crime was their poverty and he learned from the inmates lessons of life that he did not get from his public school education.

The incarceration brought the Jogis closer to each other. Amit said that while his father suffered the most in his absence, his mother, Renu Jogi, remained strong. She kept reminding her son that he need not worry as long as his conscience was clear, and that justice could be delayed but not denied. "My parents, well-wishers and friends knew I was innocent and that truth would prevail. This gave me the strength to face the sufferings," Amit said.

His jail diary features poems and a play, titled Chal Be Kapada Uthar (Hey You, Remove Your Clothes), which speaks of the plight of jail inmates who get stripped by the guard at the gate upon entering jail. According to Amit, as long as a convict stays in jail, he is under surveillance, and his soul remains naked.

Now, for the next few months, Amit will be working on the poems in the diary and get them ready for publishing.

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CONTACT ME. मुझसे संपर्क करें

Amit Aishwarya Jogi
Anugrah, Civil Lines
Raipur- 492001
Chhattisgarh, INDIA
Telephone/ Fascimile: +91 771 4068703
Mobile: +91 942420 2648 (AMIT)
Skype: jogi.amit
Yahoo!: amitjogi2001