Hyderabad, Jun 25 (PTI): Himachal Pradesh Governor Bandaru Dattatreya was 28 years old when he was arrested during the Emergency in 1975 but his mother refused to bow to the authorities pressure to coerce her son to seek pardon to get released from prison.
Dattatreya's mother, who used to sell onions to make ends meet, declined to get a 'maafi naama' (Amnesty pardon) from her son, saying he did not commit any crime and was arrested while 'fighting for the nation', the governor recalled.
Sharing his memories of his arrest and subsequent developments with PTI in an e-mail, Dattatreya, who was born on June 12, 1947, said his mother used to visit him regularly when he was in jail.
'But one officer always sat near us listening to everything we spoke.Police personnel and other government officials used to approach relatives of those who were arrested during the Emergency and put pressure on them to convince the activists to give statements in favour of the government,' he said.
They also identified people who were emotionally weak and tried to convince them, Dattatreya said.
He was arrested from Bellampalle, a region famous for its coal mines, and lodged in the Chanchalguda Jail here.
Dattatreya's uncle who used to work for the Hyderabad Municipal Corporation requested the then Mayor and local MLA for his release.
They told the uncle to get a 'maafi naama' from him, Dattatreya said.
He said his mother allowed him to become a RSS pracharak despite knowing that he would have to leave home and she would not be able to see him for long periods.
He obtained permission for parole from prison authorities to pay his last respects to his brother who died during the period, Dattatreya recalled.
Dattatreya said he developed an inclination for reading books while in jail.
A former Union Minister, Dattatreya is a four-time Lok Sabha member from Secunderabad and had also been state BJP president of undivided Andhra Pradesh during 1996-98. PTI GDK BN BALA BN BALA