A young woman killed by Maoist rebels in Jharkhand after she secretly abandoned the outfit in search of a peaceful life, was allegedly sexually abused by several of her commanders, the man who gave shelter to her has said.
The body of 20-year-old Sanjeeta Kumari was found near a hill in Gumla, around 170 km from the state capital on Thursday, months after she abandoned the outfit in search of a new life away from violent ways she was lured to many years ago.
Pravin Tiwari, the man who helped her start life afresh by settling her in Gumla town and admitting her to a school around a year back, said on Friday that almost all top Maoist commanders used Sanjeeta to satiate their lust.
Tiwari is the secretary of the Gumla District Archery Association (GDAA).
One of them, Tiwari said, had raped her on several occasions and even threatened to kill her family members if she resisted him.
“She was fed up and wanted to lead a normal girl’s life. I gave her shelter and helped her in admission in the plus-II school. It’s unfortunate that she has been killed on charges of spying for police,” said the Gumla-based social worker who came in contact with Sanjeeta in 2013 and had since then been supporting her in her journey to join the mainstream.
Sanjeeta during her interaction with HT on July 28 had also said that no girl in the camp is safe and are subjected to sexual exploitation by the commanders.
Back in Sibil, Sanjeeta’s parents and siblings were inconsolable on Friday as a select group of media personnel reached them after reading about the incident.
They squarely blamed the Maoists for killing her and also blamed the police for failing to protect the lives of innocent villagers in Maoist affected areas.
“My daughter wanted to study and learn job-oriented skills to stand on her feet and live life with dignity. We worked hard as labourers and sent some money to her occasionally. The Maoist leaders always pressurised her to return to their fold. Police were aware but they didn’t do anything to save her life,” said her father Fandu Munda.
Jharkhand is fighting the Maoist menace in at least 18 of the 24 districts. In addition to 70,000 police personnel, Jharkhand government has nearly 80 companies of central forces fighting the rebels, whose strength is said to be barely a few hundred.