The Telegraph
Wednesday , June 28 , 2017

Maoist gives up arms

File picture of anti-Maoist security personnel

Bhubaneswar, June 27: A woman Maoist cadre today surrendered before police in Deogarh district, around 300km from here, after being unable to put up with the hard life of a rebel and torture at the hands of seniors.

Sabitri Murmu alias Kuni was involved in a case of gunfight with the security forces and also in some cases of extortion, claimed the police. Deogarh police superintendent Sarah Sharma said Kuni, a resident of Telkoi in Keonjhar district, had been associated with the Maoist organisation since 2008 but decided to give up arms as she was fed up with the rebels' violent activities.

Kuni, who used to operate in the Kalinga Nagar division of the banned CPI (Maoist) and was involved in the abduction of a police official at Daitari of Keonjhar district in 2010, said life as a rebel was difficult.

"I did not get enough food and was also subjected to torture," she said.

Kuni, who also involved in a gun battle between the Maoists and the security forces at Kaliapani in Jajpur district in 2011, used to recruit poor tribal youths from Deogarh, Jajpur, Angul, Rourkela and Keonjhar as part of the Maoists' membership drive. She was also involved in cases of extortion from businessmen, industrialists and contractors, said the police.

She decided to surrender after she realised that the Maoists had deviated from their original ideology and women cadres were being subjected to physical and mental torture by the seniors.

This is not the first case of surrender by the Maoists in the state this year. On May 29, three rebels, including a woman cadre and a minor, laid down arms before Rourkela police following disillusionment with the Maoist ideology.

The woman cadre, Phula Munda alias Gurubari, who had given up arms in Rourkela, carried a reward of Rs 1 lakh on her head.

However, the bigger catch for the police was Siddharth Lohar alias Bhima, who carried a price tag of Rs 5 lakh. Both Lohar and Munda are natives of Jharkhand.

Lohar had been active in Sundargarh, Deogarh, Angul and Boudh districts. He was part of Sundargarh-Deogarh-Sambalpur division of the CPI (Maoist).

Lohar and Munda were involved in several encounters with the police in Odisha and Jharkhand.

Lohar decided to give up arms as he was undergoing psychological torture at the hands of the Maoist leadership because his wife, Sushma, had surrendered before Sambalpur police in 2014.

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