RAIPUR: Seventy Maoists, including 15 women cadres, surrendered on Thursday in Maoist hotbed of Sukma district in Bastar region. Chhattisgarh police claimed this was the first mass surrender in Bastar in recent years.
Amid anti-Maoist operations intensifying in Bastar region, particularly in restive Sukma and Bijapur districts, surrendered rebels said they were under pressure because of hot pursuit by security forces and also frustrated with Maoist ideology that promoted violence. Surrendered Maoists were mostly from the lower rungs of guerrilla force.
Bridging gap between forces and rebels, police gave credit to 1,500 villagers, who played a major role in persuading Maoists to join mainstream.
In last fortnight, this is the second big surrender. Twenty-six Naxalites, including seven hardened rebels gave up their guns at Sukma on December 9. This adds up to 100 surrenders in last 30 days, including few individual ones.
Inspector general of police, Bastar range, SRP Kalluri, said, “Several factors have triggered surrenders. Security forces have turned up the heat on Naxalites, persuaded people not to join the banned outfit and also encouraged Maoists to surrender under state policy.”
IG said the rebels surrendered with two muzzle-loading guns, a pipe bomb, an IED and Maoist material. While few were carrying rewards on their heads, others were also involved in crimes like arson, loot, extortion, attacks and major attacks like Tadmetla massacre that killed 76 CRPF personnel.
Police said ‘Jan Jagara Abhiyan’ (public awareness campaign) that draws Maoists to join mainstream has begun yielding results.
Seventy surrendered Maoists dropped their guns before senior police officer and commandant 74 battalion of CRPF at Jagargunda police station at Chintalnar in Sukma district. They are all residents of Chintalnar, Jagagunda, Tadmetla, Murkam and nearby areas. A cash reward of Rs 10,000 was also given to each surrendered rebel.
Source: Defense News