25thAugust 2010

AIDWA expresses concern at the reports that have appeared in the print media regarding the sexual exploitation and brutality suffered by a Maoist woman cadre at the hands of Maoist leaders. According to the report, the victim has expressed her desire to flee from the situation forced upon her, and has mentioned that there were others like her being subjected to sexual violence, who would be willing to surrender if the opportunity is provided. She has also alleged that tribal women in areas under Maoist control were being sexually exploited. Her allegations must be investigated and steps taken to help the victims. Rape and sexual exploitation of women is totally unacceptable to any democratic society, and women’s organizations like AIDWA have always fought for the rights of women in this regard.

The girl who has complained of victimization in the media reports should be given adequate protection. The road for rehabilitation of those wishing to escape from such a perilous situation must be made accessible and gender friendly. . The State Government of West Bengal has already announced a package for Maoists who wish to abjure violence. The Central Government should immediately hold consultations with the State Governments, and assist in the endeavor to give women in the Maoist ranks the opportunity to return to the mainstream.