Most-wanted Maoist leader, wife give up arms


KOLKATA: Ahead of Republic Day -and amid talk of ultraLefts trying to fan trouble at Bhangar -the Special Task Force of Kolkata Police tasted its biggest success in the past four years in combating Maoism. The Bengal-Jharkhand Odisha border commander and state member of CPI (Maoist) Ranjit Pal alias Tarit (45) and his wife Anita Pal alias Jharna Giri (32) surrendered before DGP Surajit Kar Purkayastha and Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar at Bhawani Bhawan on Wednesday . Ranjit handed over his self-loading rifle to the DGP .Till last count, Ranjit alone faces over 50 cases related to terror, murder and extortion in Bengal and Jharkhand. His wife Anita, who joined the Maoists from Nandigram in 2007, too has 12 cases pending against her. Among the many cases pending against Ranjit, the most notorious ones pertain to the Ayodhya platoon that he commanded. He is accused of being involved in the murder of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha MP Sunil Kumar Mahato at Bakulia in East Singhum, setting up the first arms factory and subsequently imparting training at Nandigram, kidnapping police inspector Partha Sarathi Biswas and teacher Soumyajit Basu and murdering several CPM leaders du ring the Lalgarh movement.

The most-wanted Maoist leader and his wife said their reasons for picking up arms for the common man have been resolved by the present state government. “The 17 years of practical experience has shown me violence does not pay . I am pleading mercy from all relatives of those who I have harmed. This state government is solving the problems of the common man. I want to forget the past and look to the future,” said Ranjit. He added: “I have understood it is not possible to look after a wife, children and old parents as a rebel. I urge all youths who have taken the Maoist path to return to mainstream.” Originally from Barikul in Bankura district, Ranjit had joined the Maoist ranks in 2000 and was arrested as a teenager for committing a crime at Ranibandh a year later. He jumped bail and was inducted in to the Ranibandh local squad.

He was the most-wanted Maoist leader in Bengal after Kishenji, who was killed in 2011, and Bikram, the IIT-Kharagpur dropout who surrendered in 2012.

Ayodhya Hills Area Committee commander and Ranjit’s wife Anita said: “I joined the rebels at the peak of Nandigram movement. However, I have realised solution to problems through armed struggle is impossible.”