Investigating officer of Naxal couriers case flooded with 20,000 letters claiming their innocence

The investigating officer (IO) of the cases pertaining to alleged Naxal couriers Hem Mishra and Prashant Rahi, who were arrested by Gadchiroli police in August-September last year, is finding himself flooded with a philatelic opportunity.

He has so far received over 20,000 letters from all over the world declaring Mishra and Rahi "innocent activists" and pleading for their release. With the flood of letters still continuing at the rate of 40-50 every day, the harangued IO is now finding an opportunity to collect stamps of various countries. "Initially, it bothered me so much since I used to get 300-500 of them every day. Now, I am trying to get over it by comforting myself with the thought that it's actually an opportunity for me to collect stamps of so many different countries," IO Suhas Bawche told The Indian Express.

The letters have been coming in from almost all parts of the world, including Europe and USA, with the majority of mails, about 60 pc, being sent from The Netherlands. Some have also come from China, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The flow has since been thinning out with only 40-50 letters coming daily now.

"The contents are generally the same with little difference. The writers say the two are innocent and honest activists. They say Rahi was arrested in 2007 and was tortured in jail. The writers have urged me not to harm him in any way in the custody," Bawche said.

The source draft of the letter has actually been posted on a website called Counter Current.org. It has urged the writers to write the letter to that effect to Bawche.

"Detained journalist Prashant Rahi at risk of torture in India", says a headline on the website with a byline of Amnesty International under it, and calling upon people to urgently write a letter to the IO.

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