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Female Naxals responsible for rise in violence in Gadchiroli

The sudden spurt in naxalite violence in Gadchiroli district is largely attributed to the active involvement of women cadres in subversive activities. Pradip Kumar Maitra examines...

india Updated: Feb 02, 2009 17:15 IST
Pradip Kumar Maitra
Pradip Kumar Maitra
Hindustan Times

The sudden spurt in naxalite violence in Gadchiroli district is largely attributed to the active involvement of women cadres in subversive activities. If sources are to be believed it is the militant female brigade that caused a rise of naxalite violence in the tribal-dominated district of Gadchiroli in recent past!

The CPI (Maoist) had appointed one Narmada, a 44-year-old militant lady Maoist as the secretary of Gadchiroli division, a strategic location for the ultra-leftists, bordering Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Orissa few months ago. Narmada, a senior naxalite leader is the wife of CPI (Maoist) ideologue Sudhakar allias Kiran, who works for its publication division. She was entrusted with leading the naxal offensive in Gadchiroli a few months back after the death of Shivanna, who was allegedly killed in a police encounter in Kanker district of Chhattisgarh last year.

According to available information, Narmada belongs to neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and a college dropped out. After taking the rein of the Gadchiroli unit, she has decided to set up five different platoons --- an aggressive military force --- in her territory with modern arms, ammunition and latest communication network to counter the state machinery. The intelligence sources have information that the Sunday attack was a joint operation of North Bastar and Gadchiroli unit of CPI (Maoist), led by Narmada that attacked the police personnel and killed 15 policemen on the spot.

Her deputy is also a lady, Tarakka allias Vimalaa, resident of Kisthapur, near Aheri in Gadchiroli district. Tarakka has been in the naxalite movement since 1985 and involved in several violent naxalite missions. She is the wife of very senior naxalite leader, Bhupathi, presently a central committee member of CPI (Maoist) and the predecessor of Narmada. During his stint in Gadchiroli, Bhupathi, impressed with this tribal girl, who never did her schooling, but has impressive organisational skills. He finally married her in early 90s.

After taking the charge, Narmada sidelined male guerrillas from the key positions in dalams (squads) and entrusted females with the key posts, like squad commanders which surprised many. Most of her local organisational squads (LOS) --- a military set up--- are headed by women naxalites. One LOS consists 10-15 armed naxalites. The chief of Chatgaon LOS is Raneeta, Kasansur LOS head is Ranjita while Surajagarh LOS is Dhanni. In Gatta LOS, Ramko was appointed as commander while Kurkheda, Rajoli, Jimalgatta and Khobramendha chiefs are Sunita, Sujata, Saroja and Rajita respectively. Moreover, the personal security guards of Narmada are also women. They are Prabhawati, 24, and 21-year-old Rupa. Similarly, her deputy Tarakka kept one Shevanti as her personal security woman.

First Published: Feb 02, 2009 17:13 IST