Kolkata: Standing up to the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s expectations and responding to her call, a hardcore Maoist couple surrendered before the police team on Thursday in the Writers Building.

The wanted top Maoists--Jagari Baskey(26) and her husband Rajaram Soren(34) along with their five-year-old son, Bahadur were presented before the Trinamool Congress supremo, who welcomed their decision and promised that the West Bengal government would take care of those who would surrender and eschew violence.

The couple accused in at least eight cases, surrendered before the IG (IB) OP Gupta at the state secretariat.

The dreaded duo was involved in several incidents of ambush on security camps and villagers in Purulia, Bankura, and West Midnapore district. The couple after deciding to surrender first contacted SP, Purulia. The SP then informed Gupta in Kolkata. Thereafter, the two were brought to the Writers' Building and presented before the Chief Minister.

The couple said they had decided to surrender in response to the Chief Minister's call to return to the mainstream.

Welcoming the decision, an elated Banerjee said, "I am again calling my brothers and sisters, who have been misguided and have taken up arms to surrender and take advantage of government's economic package and lead a normal life."

For their son, she assured that the state government would be sponsoring his education till the Intermediate level and promised admission of the couple's child to a Ramakrishna Mission school.

Jagari was involved in the Silda EFR camp attack in which 21 personnel of the state's paramilitary force were killed in February last year.

Jagari confessed that she had been forced to join the Maoist outfit when she was just 16 years old. "I belong to a poor family of a backward villager. They (Maoists) misguided me by saying that they were fighting for the rights of the poor. Now I feel it is time to surrender when the CM has given a call to return to normal life," she told reporters. For a long time, the couple was associated with the Ayodhya squad of the Maoists in Purulia district.

Jagari, who was born at Potunda village in Singhbhum district in Jharkhand, lived most of her life at Bogdoba village at Belpahari in West Midnapore district.

Before the Silda camp was raided on February 10, 2010, Jagari, accompanied by two other women, undertook a recce of the camp.

She took a leading role in the kidnapping of Atin Dutta, the then OC of Sankrail police station, in October, 2009 which prompted the government to go for a swap deal with the Maoists for the release of Dutta.

Jagari was also a part of the Maoist squad allegedly responsible for the killing of CPI-M leader Rabi Kar and a blast at the Bandwan police station in Purulia district killing then OC Nil Madhab in 2004.

"I was a small child and got emotionally influenced by the Maoists and strayed on the wrong path. My appeal to all those carrying out Maoist activities in Junglemahal to return to the mainstream and lead normal lives," Jagari said.

Rajaram Soren alias Sagen Santhal said, "We are illiterate villagers. I killed many people and policemen. I now realise how I was misled and how Maoists cheated us. They used to talk about championing the cause of the tribals, but they never fought for their cause in reality. They used to engage themselves in the killing of people."

Through media, the couple also urged their Maoist friends to lay down their arms and lead a better life.

The surrender of the Maoist couple took place amid intensification of joint operations against Naxals in Junglemahal, round-the-clock patrols in Purulia district and combing of some areas in West Midnapore district.

Earlier on November 6, a Maoist action squad commander Duryodhan Rajkowar alias Sujan and his wife Akri Sahis had surrendered before the Purulia police. They were into the Maoist activities since six years.

Meanwhile after the surrender of two Maoist couple, Banerjee said that the peace process to resolve the Maoist tangle would continue.

"The opposite to peace is violence. Both cannot go together. Let there be an ideological fight. But killings should be stopped. There has been enough bloodshed. We don't want any more bloodshed. My government is determined to ensure development for the poor in Purulia, Bankura and West Midnapore districts," she added.

(JPN/ Bureau/ Agencies)