Villagers foil Naxals’ bid to reprimand surrendered cadres

Raipur:  An overwhelming number of Maoists quitting the outlawed movement recently in the state’s Bastar region has apparently upset the Naxals, who are reprimanding surrendered cadres and their kin in remote areas, a senior police official said.

However, such an attempt to corner the surrendered cadres in Sukma earlier this week was vehemently protested by the villagers, following which the Naxal leaders had to retract.

“There were inputs of Naxals forcefully calling up surrendered ultras and their family members to hold meetings with them in remote pockets of Dantewada and Sukma districts of south Bastar this week,” Inspector General of Police, Bastar Range, S R P Kalluri told PTI.

The exact reason behind these meetings is being investigated.

As per inputs, Naxals were planning to conduct a trial of around 40 surrendered cadres by holding ‘jan adalats’ (people’s courts) in Sukma, but a large number of villagers prevented them following which, the Maoists had to release them, Kalluri said.

A similar meeting was reportedly held in Aalnar region of Dantewada, the IG said.

“It is a good sign that villagers are raising their voice against the Naxal violence. Gradually, people have realised the futility of war waged by rebels. If it continues, no more Naxal problem will exist in Bastar,” he said.

Around 300 rebels have surrendered so far this year in the insurgency-riddled state which has worried the top brass of the banned CPI (Maoist), he added.

As per a senior police official, the recent meetings in Sukma and Dantewada were reportedly meant to kill the surrendered lower rank cadres, including sangham members and janmilitia and create an atmosphere of terror among the tribals.

However, their attempts were foiled by villagers.

The intervention by a large number of villagers prompted the senior Maoist leaders to take back their decision, the official said on condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, senior Naxal cadres have directed the local jan militia members of the banned outfit to focus on rebuilding bases and win the trust of the people in areas where a significant number of Maoists have laid down their arms before police, he added.

Defence experts feel it is high time for the CPI (Maoist) as their guerrillas are turning themselves in not only in Chhattisgarh, but also in the neighboring states.

“Naxals seem to be in a weak position as far as their strength is concerned. They lost a large number of bottom rung members and leaders in both Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh and any step against people’s emotions in Bastar may create more trouble for them,” said Professor Girishkant Pandey, Head of the Department, Defence Studies in Government Nagarjun PG College of Science at Raipur.

It has come to light that Naxals held ‘jan adalats’ to conduct trial of villagers on the pretext of branding them as police informers or leaders of the erstwhile Salwa Judum movement, he said.

It is good that people prevented them from conducting trials of surrendered cadres. The Naxals may think of revamping their strategies after this incident, he added.

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