Lalgarh Maoist leader Bikram Mahato and a host of trained cadres, including women, from Chhattisgarh are attending camps set up by banned CPI(Maoist) in the Saranda forest where training is being imparted in guerrilla warfare, arms and handling of explosives, police said today.

Leader of the Maoist outfit’s women’s wing, Chameli alias Rekha is providing arms training to the women cadre to build its ‘Nari Sena’ deep inside the forest which is situated along the Jharkhand-Orissa interstate border.

The recruitment drive by the Maoists is taking place after a long hiatus and the police are keeping a close watch on movements of the Maoists, who have lured hundreds of tribal youths and girls belonging to villages on both sides of the inter-State border with promises of financial packages, the police said.

At least three major training camps run by the outfit’s Chhota Nagpur zonal committee are in existence at Digha, Balwa and Thalkobad area of Jharkhand and lie between the entry point in Bisra in Sundargarh district and Mancharpur and Kiriburu of Jharkhand.

The forest area, known as a Maoist hot bed, has been chosen taking into consideration the hostile hilly terrain that can be reached only on foot or motorcycle. Only one route - the Karampada route serve as the supply line for logistics and other provisions, the police added.