Two members of a Maoist squad in Purulia, Hajari Hembram alias Bijoy and Rani Munda alias Pooja, surrendered before police at the district SP office on Tuesday.
“We had received inputs from CRPF too that they want to get back to the mainstream. So we approached them, all procedures were followed and they surrendered. Hajari is a known Maoist, and has at least eight cases registered against him, including charges of murder and abduction. The duo who surrendered were both active members of Dalma squad. While Hembram had joined the squad in 2006 , Pooja has been a member since 2015… They were members of the squad’s regional committee,” SP (Purulia) Joy Biswas told The Indian Express.
The Dalma squad of Maoists primarily operates in East Singhbhum region of Jharkhand. A tribal squad, most of its leaders and cadres are from Bengal. It is currently led by Akash, another known Maoist. “We are trying to extract details from the surrendered Maoists about the hideouts of the squad,” added an officer.
Hajari had earlier been arrested from Urmahat in Purulia along the Jharkhand border, and was later released on bail, another source said.
In January 2017, senior Maoist leader Ranjit Pal, who was in charge of Orissa-Jharkhand- Bengal states and a member of the military wing, had surrendered. Following the death of top Maoist leader Mallojula Koteswara Rao, alias Kishenji, Pal had been the only senior Maoist leader from Bengal in command along the bordering areas.
Between 2008 and 2011, the Maoists were active in West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura. After Kishenji was eliminated in 2011, several top Maoist leaders began surrendering, and the movement has slowly been fizzling out in the state.
“So far, over 220 Maoists have been brought back to the mainstream under the present state government,” said a police officer.