Altered strategies fructify as Maoists lay down arms in C’garh

Raipur:  Redefining of strategies by Chhattisgarh Police to tackle Maoist menace in Bastar restive region with a focus on curtailing key Naxal sub-fronts and  ‘janmilitia’ cadres seems to have fructified with nearly 200 rebels laying down arms this year in the insurgency-hit state.

Most of those who have surrendered are lower rung recruits, who were reportedly persuaded by their families and police to join the mainstream.

“As many as 181 cadres have surrendered this year which indicates that gradually the villagers have realised the futility of violence. They have come to know that development can’t take place with such kind of war,” Additional Director General of Police (anti-Naxal operations) R K Vij told PTI.

Several other factors like increasing pressure of security forces in traditional Maoist strongholds, bottom rung cadres, particularly women, fed up with exploitation by senior rebels and personal reasons, have also prompted the rebels to turn themselves in before police, Vij said.

Moreover, security personnel are also contacting the villagers whose near and dear ones were forcefully inducted into the movement, for their come back, he said.

“We are working on a number of plans. Recently, the state government has revised its surrender and rehabilitation policy offering a handsome monetary assistance for those who surrender, the ADG said.

According to a senior police official, the security forces, including CRPF, ITBP and BSF, have been asked to familiarise with villagers nearby their camps in Bastar region, comprising seven districts, and persuade them to bring back their relatives working for the banned outfit.

Police personnel have also been told to get acquainted with the families of cadres, thereby winning their confidence that rebels would be rehabilitated in a better way after surrender, he said.

As per police statistics, over 100 rebels who surrendered in the past three months were mostly ‘sangham’ and ‘janmilitia’ members working in village areas of Kondagaon and Kanker districts.

Apart from that, the chiefs and active members of frontal outfits of Maoists, like Dandakarnya Adivasi Majdoor Sangthan, Krantikari Adivasi Mahila Sangthan and Chetna Natya Mandli, have also quit the movement during this period.

Meanwhile, experts also feel that the state government is working on a comprehensive strategy encompassing military tactics supported by a successful surrender and rehabilitation package.

“It seems that the target is to weaken the position of the rebels at village level in a bid to demoralise ultras. The strategy to curtail the frontal outfits and its members will certainly help security personnel in gaining ground in the Naxal den,” Prof Girish Kant Pandey, Head, Department of Defence Studies in Government Science College here, told PTI.

It would be early to assess the success of these surrenders as no predictions can be made about Maoists’ evil designs, although introdu ction of good policies along with anintense military approach will yield fruitful results, he said.

There are some regions like Rajnandgaon, Kanker and Kondagaon where security forces have been successful in containing the unrest upto a great extent, Pandey said.

Notably, Chhattisgarh government has recently made an unprecedented hike in the cash rewards announced on Maoists. The reward will be given to the rebels in case they lay down their arms and surrender.

A person providing crucial information leading to arrest of central committee secretary of CPI (Maoist) Muppalla Laxman Rao alias Ganpathy will be given Rs 60 lakh while earlier it was Rs 12 lakh, as per a recent government order.

Likewise, reward on chief of central military commission and central committee member has been increased to Rs 50 lakh and Rs 40 lakh, respectively.

Secretary of Dandakarnya Special Zonal Committee (DKSZC) carries a reward of Rs 40 lakh on his head which was Rs 3 lakh earlier. Similarly, cash reward on divisional committee secretary and lower cadres has also been raised.

The government is also mulling revision of cash reward and increasing it up to Rs 1 crore on general secretary of CPI (Maoist), a police official said.

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