Two top women Maoists, including teenager, lay down arms


Gadchiroli (Maharashtra), Feb 8: Two dreaded women Maoist cadres, including a teenager, both carrying a collective reward of Rs 6 lakh, surrendered before the security forces here on Wednesday, an official said.

Shanti Masu Mattami, alias Jaya, 24, had a reward of Rs 4 lakh on her head and Sunita Namdev Kodape, alias Ranita, 18, carried a reward of Rs 2 lakh, said Superintendent of Police Abhinav Deshmukh.

While Jaya was an active member of the Bhamragad dalam, Ranita belonged to the Aheri dalam, both armed groups operating deep inside the forests of the Maoist-affected district of eastern Maharashtra.

Jaya had joined the Maoist forces in 2013 with the Bhamragad dalam, was later shifted to the Platoon 14 and was promoted as the deputy commander in December 2017.

She was wanted for 29 major offences, including 11 murders, six cases of arson, and 12 cases of firing exchanges with police, said an official.

At the tender age of 13, Ranita became a fighting member of the Aheri dalam and was recently active for the Sironcha dalam. She was wanted in 23 serious cases including eight murders, four cases of arson, and 11 gunfights.

"They will be fully entitled to the Maharashtra government's elaborate schemes for their complete rehabilitation including a plot of land, financial assistance, employment, to enable them merge into the social mainstream," Deshmukh said.

In 2017, as many as 22 Maoists had surrendered and with two women Maoists laying down arms in 2018, Deshmukh said there are indications of more volunteering to surrender and return to the mainstream soon.