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Women terror shifts from Chambal

THESE FIVE women are awesome. Theirs are not wipe-Bindia-wield-gun kind of revenge stories that reverberate in the badland of Chambal ravines. Their names don?t evoke any romantic image of intractable terrains of Chambal either. For, few know their names in the first place. They are deadly nonetheless. They are ideologically-driven hardcore Naxalites ? tough, resolute and ruthless.

india Updated: Feb 05, 2006 14:11 IST

THESE FIVE women are awesome. Theirs are not wipe-Bindia-wield-gun kind of revenge stories that reverberate in the badland of Chambal ravines. Their names don’t evoke any romantic image of intractable terrains of Chambal either. For, few know their names in the first place. They are deadly nonetheless. They are ideologically-driven hardcore Naxalites — tough, resolute and ruthless.

Basanta alias Sheela heads the list with a reward of Rs 1.20 lakh on her head. A prominent member of the Malajkhand Dalam, Basantha’s name strikes terror in mineral-rich Balaghat district. She has had numerous close calls with police and is wanted for murderous assaults, arson and other crimes.

The police do not have her photograph. Sumitra, wife of Bhagat Maravi, carries a 12-bore rifle and has a reward of Rs 50,000 on her head. Bhagat is the head of Paraswada Dalam.

Meera, wife of Sunil Markam, is an active member of Tanda Dalam and carries a reward of Rs 15,000 on her head. Sunanda and Ramvati alias Indra are also wanted Naxals in the State.

The third dalam active in the region is Paraswada Dalam and its active member Renuka alias Bujjijalma carries a reward of Rs 50,000.

In the thick forests of Balaghat and neighbouring districts in eastern parts of the State bordering Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra, these women don’t hesitate before firing, especially at the police, and the ‘class enemy’. Along with their male counterparts, these women have risked their lives to realise the dream of independent Dandkaranya state.

“The high reward on the head of the women outlaws is owing to their participation in criminal activities for long. Since one ‘dalam’ is active in a particular area, each Naxal-related violence automatically leads to registration of case on the members of the ‘dalam’, points out a senior police officer.

“Lately, the Naxals have been consolidating themselves in the State, so there is a lull in the violence of the dalams which are mostly active in Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra”, says a senior police official.

As far as women dacoits are concerned, the number has dropped sharply. “After the surrender of dacoit Kusuma Nain along with Phakkad Baba and the surrender of Arvind Gujjar gang, hardly any active woman dacoits exist in the Chambal. The days of Phoolan Devis and Kusuma Nains might be over in the Chambal but women outlaws carry on the legacy in new terrains.

First Published: Feb 05, 2006 14:11 IST