As many as 27 Naxals, four of them carrying cash rewards on their heads, have surrendered at two places in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh, a senior official said on Thursday.
They surrendered saying they were impressed by a rehabilitation campaign being run by the police here, the official said.
While 25 cadres, including four women, turned themselves in before senior administration, police and CRPF officials at Kuakonda police station on Thursday, a Maoist couple surrendered in Dantewada town on Wednesday, Dantewada Superintendent of Police Abhishek Pallava said.
Of the 25 cadres, Budhram Tamo (48)- head of Dandakaranya Adivasi Kisan Mazdoor Sangthan (DAKMS- a frontal wing of Maoists), Manjhi Barse (35)- head of janmilitia group and woman cadre Deve Sodhi- head of Krantikari Mahila Adivasi Sangthan (KAMS- another offshoot of Maoists) were carrying rewards of Rs 1 lakh each on their heads, he said.
The rest of them were lower-rung members, mostly belonging to DAKMS, KAMS and janmilitia groups, he said.
They were allegedly involved in several Naxal incidents, including the Mailwada landmine attack in March 2016, wherein seven CRPF personnel were killed, he said.
On Wednesday, Prakash Kartami alias Pandu, who was carrying a reward of Rs 2 lakh on his head, and his wife Hadme Kartami had surrendered, he said.
Pandu, a member of Maoist military platoon number 24, was involved in several deadly attacks on police personnel, including the Cholnar blast in Dantewada in April 2015, in which five jawans were killed and eight others injured.
He was also involved in the ambush in NMDC mines area of Dantewada in 2012 in which six policemen and a civilian driver were killed, the official said.
His wife, a native of neighbouring Sukma district, was member of the Chetna Natya Mandli (cultural wing of Maoists) and was associated with the outlawed outfit since 2012.
She was tasked with spreading Maoist propaganda, conducting recee on police personnel, arranging meetings of villagers and damaging roads, the official said.
All 27 ultras in their statement said they were disappointed with the "hollow" Maoist ideology, and at the same time were impressed by 'Lon Varratu' (term coined in local Gondi dialect which means 'return to your village') campaign being run by police in Dantewada, Pallava said.
They all have been given an immediate assistance of Rs 10,000 each and will be provided facilities further as per the government''s surrender and rehabilitation policy, he said.
Under the 'Lon Varratu' initiative, the police have been putting up posters and banners in the native villages of Naxals, who carry cash rewards on their head.
The posters mention the names of rebels and appeal to them to join the mainstream, the police official said.
So far, 53 Naxals have surrendered under the drive, he added.