Woman Maoist commander surrenders in West Bengal

     A woman self-styled Maoist commander has surrendered before police in West Bengal's West Midnapore District alleging sexual exploitation by ultra leaders. Shobha Mandi alias Sikha is the second Naxal to surrender after the West Bengal government announced a rehabilitation package for them. "Shobha, who has five cases against her, has been keeping in touch with us for the last eight days, and, we succeeded in convincing her to surrender," said West Midnapore Superintendent of Police, Manoj Kumar Verma "She also handed over a bag that contained cash worth rupees 50,500," Verma added Mandi claimed that the top Maoist leadership knew about the sexual exploitation of women cadre, but were not taking preventive steps. "I left camp on April 25 in frustration. When I came to know about the rehabilitation package, I contacted the police and they promised me security. So, I surrendered," she said. Mandi, the daughter of Jamadar Mandi, a resident of Koyerpahari under Sarenga Police Station in Bankura district left home in 2003 after Maoist leaders Sasadhar, Akash, Bikash, Madan and Suchitra met her family and convinced them that she would have a better life with them. Earlier, Shobhan Karak, a member of the Maoist action squad, surrendered before the West Midnapore Superintendent of Police, the Jhargram Superintendent of Police and central Reserve Police Force inspector general. He surrendered with a .303 rifle and a few live cartridges. He has 13 cases of murder and sedition registered against him.

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