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This Brave Girl Chose to Defy the Maoists and Go to School. Meet India’s Malala – Guddi.

This Brave Girl Chose to Defy the Maoists and Go to School. Meet India’s Malala – Guddi.

Sanjeeta Kumari, alias Guddi, escaped the Maoists in Jharkhand to enroll in a school in secrecy. She paid the ultimate price for this choice of books over guns – she was found and shot by the extremists. A salute to India's Malala for her bravery and heroism!

A 20-year-old Jharkhand girl was killed by Maoists for bravely defying them by enrolling in a school instead of remaining an insurgent. Sanjeeta Kumari, alias Guddi, on the run from the militants, had been in hiding for a while before the extremists found her on November 17.

She had chosen books over rifles and this was something the Maoists could not tolerate – they left a handwritten note on her body saying Guddi had to die because she did not “mend her ways” despite warnings.

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Guddi had joined the Maoist militants when she was just 11, on the urging of her neighbour Savita Didi who was a commander with the group herself. During the eight years that she stayed with the Maoists, she worked as a cook, became a sharp shooter, fell in love with the zonal commander, and witnessed sexual exploitation, according to an interview she gave Hindustan Times in July this year.

Guddi gave the interview in secrecy in a remote part of the district of Gumla, Jharkhand, where she had rented a house and was studying at the local school. She told HT she was committed to her studies and would not return to the Maoist extremists under any condition. “I cannot surrender because the moment my leaders come to know, they will kill my parents and siblings. I will be able to study as long as I am not identified and captured or my bosses in the jungle do not take me away forcibly,” she told her interviewers, on the condition that they not publish her story.

However, Guddi’s run from the insurgents and her hopes of building a better future for herself through education came to a brutal end when she went to visit her parents and siblings in the village of Sibil this week. She was found and abducted by the Maoists, who did not spare her life.

The Maoists have alleged that Guddi was a police spy. The Gumla police have refuted the allegation.

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