Family members say the duo got married through Satyashodhak vivah at the historic Mahatma Phule Wada a few years ago. While Sheetal is a postgraduate in sociology from Siddhivinayak College in Pune, Sachin got his MA from Fergusson College.
“I am happy they have surrendered. It proves their innocence,” said Sheetal’s mother Sandhya Sathe. She lives in a small hut in the Kaseadi slums of Pune. “I got phone calls as the news flashed on TV channels. I was happy to see Sheetal on TV after three years now. She has been a talented singer since her childhood. She had won awards during college days,” she said.
The mother said Sheetal left home about five years ago. “She got married to Sachin. Both had started working for KKM before marriage and wanted to do something for the backward classes,” she said.
KKM was formed by a Pune based activist Amarnath Chandaliya after the 2002 Gujarat riots. According to Chandaliya, Sheetal and Sachin along with Ramesh Gaychor, Sagar Gorkhe, Deepak alias Dhawala Dhengle joined the KKM in 2005.
The activists were lauded by prominent social activists in Pune for their performances in various colleges, slums, agitations and social functions. However, their names were included in the list of some 37 organisations prepared by the police for alleged Naxal links in 2008. The activists went into hiding after they were booked by the ATS in April 2011.
- PRESS RELEASE – Kabir Kala Manch Members Sheetal Sathe and Sachin Mali court arrest (kabirkalamanch.wordpress.com)