Top Maoist leader surrenders, Mamata hails move
KOLKATA TOP woman Maoist Suchitra Mahato, who had escaped after Kishenji’s killing last year, on Friday surrendered before authorities in eastern Indian state West Bengal as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee used the occasion to renew her call to the ultras to join the mainstream.
“She (Suchitra) used to lead the Maoist and was a very important (Maoist leader).
She has surrendered for ushering in peace. This is a big thing. Bengal lagged behind.
Let’s work for peace to lead the state forward,” Banerjee told reporters flanked by Suchitra and her newly married husband Prabir Garai.
Renewing her call to Maoists to join the mainstream, she said, “Those who still hold arms are our brothers and sisters.
They are our citizens. They can inform us if they have any grievances. I asked Suchitra to tell me what she wanted. She should say it. It is her democratic right.” Suchitra received wounds in the waist during the November encounter, she said, adding she was treated in the village.
“She requires good treatment.
It will be taken care of.” The government will also provide a package to surrendered Maoists, she said, adding that the Centre would be informed about Suchitra’s surrender.
An injured Suchitra had fled following Kishenji’s killing by the joint forces on November 24 at Burisole jungle.
Banerjee said Suchitra surrendered to the Intelligence branch before meeting her at Writers’ Buildings.
“She has come to surrender with her newly-married husband responding to the government’s offer of peace,” she said, adding “This is a big achievement for both the government and my brothers and sisters (Maoists).” Suchitra was earlier married to Maoist leader Sashadhar Mahato who was killed in an encounter with the joint forces in West Midnapore district on March 10 last year.
On Kishenji’s killing, Banerjee said, “It is not that we were instrumental in the killing of Kishenji. It happened in the course of events.
This happens at times. I was away in Delhi. Any death is unfortunate.” Suchitra’s surrender followed that of dreaded Maoist woman leader Jagori Baske on November 17.
Baske, who was wanted for the killing of police officer Partha Biswas and his school teacher friend Saumyajit Basu in Purulia in 2010, had surrendered with her husband Rajaram Soren and son Bahadur Soren.