A former female Maoist, once arrested on the charge of murdering a Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader, but released for lack of evidence, now says she wants to stay away from extremists and join the police force.
Sulekha Mahato was arrested three years ago when she was 17 from Ranibandh in Bankura district along with Bimala Sardar, a resident of the area, on charges of killing Sudhir Singh Sardar, then secretary of Banspahari CPI(M) local committee, on March 6, 2006.
Set free by a court at Bandowan in Purulia district recently for lack of evidence, Sulekha says she does not like the uncertainties of the Maoist ways.
"I would not return to my previous life. I want to study and serve the country. I want to make amends," Sulekha told PTI after returning home along with her mother Bharati and brother Ananda who studies in Class VIII.
The girl did not join the Maoist squad out of love for its ideology, nor because of any adventurist pursuit. It was purely by an accident that she joined their ranks on August 25, 2005.
A resident of Bitri village at Banspahari in the Belpahari police station area of West Midnapore district, Sulekha had a tiff with her mother over a land they possessed.
While her mother wanted to sell the land so that they can shift elsewhere where the children would have a better life, she was all for retaining it.
"I wanted to give my children better education and better livelihood, but Sulekha wanted to stay at her birth place after the death of her father and in a fit of rage one day, she left home," Sulekha's mother Sabita said.
According to district police sources, Sulekha was moving aimlessly in the jungles when she met some Maoists who persuaded her to join their brigade.
When told of Sulekha's wish to join the police force, a senior district police officer said, "She is a free bird now and she can do anything; If she approaches us we will definitely help her."