Nearly two weeks after the arrest of Arnab Dam, alias Bikram, the ‘commander’ of the Ayodhya squad of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), two women members of the squad surrendered before the Director General of West Bengal Police, Naparajit Mukherjee, at the State Secretariat on Monday.
According to police, Sikha Hansda and Champa Hembram were active in the State’s Purulia district, along the West Bengal-Jharkhand border for nearly four years.
Ms. Hansda, the ‘deputy area commander’, was involved in a number of incidents, including the attack on villagers at Bagbinda village of the district in December 2010. Seven persons were killed in the incident. Ms. Hembram was a squad member of the outfit.
“They [Maoists] used to commit atrocities on women, and extort money from villagers and the poor. After seeing such activities we decided to surrender,” Ms. Hansda told journalists. She said she was misguided by Maoist leaders to join the outfit.
Both Ms. Hansda and Ms. Hembram laid down firearms and a few rounds of ammunition at the time of surrender.
“After the arrest of Bikram, their organisation had become weak. The police contacted the Maoists and persuaded them to lay down arms,” said Gangeshwar Singh, Inspector General of Police (Western Zone).
He said the Maoists approached the Superintendent of Police, Purulia, on Sunday, and expressed their willingness to surrender.
So far, 33 members of the outfit have surrendered since the Trinamool Congress-led government came to power.