Vikash Sharma

Once again the issue of sexual exploitation of women in Maoist camp has promoted two hardcore rebels to lay down arms. This time two women Maoists, aged about 21 and 22 years, respectively have surrendered before IGP Southern Range, Berhampur at Boudh district.

Out of the two women Maoists, one was a member of the eighth company and another was a party member of Kalahandi-Kandhamal-Boudh-Nayagarh (KKBN) division of the CPI (Maoist).

Senior officials informed that both the surrendered Maoist cadres are of Chhattisgarh origin. Moreover, their task was to reactivate the North-South corridor from Jhakhand to Chhattisgarh through south-centre Odisha. Moreover, they were part of the Maoist organisation since 2018 and were involved in a series of incidents in Odisha and Chhattisgarh.

“Both the women Maoists were disturbed and frustrated by the continuous unethical activities in Maoist organisation like sexual harassment of female cadre, extortion of funds through intimidation and induction of young boys and girls in the organisation by false promise and propaganda,” said a senior police official.

Moreover, the senior Maoist cadres were involved in high-handedness and were behaving rudely with low rank cadres as well. It has been learnt that another 10 to 12 Chhattisgarh cadres have fled the Maoist camp in the last two months. Odisha Police officials are trying to establish contact with them. The surrendered Maoists have revealed the involvement of the Maoist organisation in the narcotics trade and other extortion activities.

“I was 16 years old when I was asked to join the camp for dancing. I faced problems in living in the forests and work was being done against ideology. The senior cadres were also misbehaving with us,” alleged one of the surrendered women Maoists.