The ambush by Maoist guerillas that killed eight people, including five security personnel and three polling officers at Shikaripara police station area of Dumka district on April 24, was carried out by rebels in their late teens led by a female cadre, police have said.
The fact came to the forefront during the course of investigation by the Dumka police.
“We have learnt about the fact. Teenagers setting the ambush are one of our points of investigation,” said Umesh Kumar Singh, inspector general of police (IG), Dumka zone before refraining from revealing anything further.
Dumka superintendent of police (SP) Nirmal Kumar Mishra said, “After questioning the villagers residing near the ambush site, our investigation team has learnt that there were about 10 female cadres in the ultra’s troop and one of them was leading it.”
The villagers confirmed the information to the investigating team saying that a girl in her teens was leading a troop of Maoists numbering between 30 and 40 which hardly had any member above the age of 30.
Another senior officer of the investigating team said, “Maximum of the female rebels has been identified. They are in their late teens or early twenties. The male rebels who supported the female cadres were also quite young.”
One of the injured, Ramprasad Rajak, who was admitted in Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) said, “Eek larki jiski umar 18 se 19 saal hogi, hare rang ka paint-shirt pehne thi. Uska adesh baki log maan rahe thai. (There was a girl aged between 18 and 19 years. She was dressed in a green colour pant and shirt. Everybody was abiding her commands).”
One of the injured police personnel said, “We could clearly hear a woman commanding the Maoist guerrillas. She was the one who has asked us to surrender.”
Police have identified the names 10 female cadres, Kanchan, Kiran, Santi, Manju, Chand, Nilu, Jacinta, Sulekha, Pinki and Pratima, along with 30 others in the FIR lodged at the Shikaripara police station.
According to other polling and security personnel, who survived the attack, the rebels who moved forward to loot weapons and torched the EVMs seemed to be in their late teens or early twenties.