Thirteen Naxals, including a couple, surrendered in two districts of Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region on Friday, which was the last day of the outlawed movement’s ‘Jan Pituri week’, police said. While eight ultras turned themselves in before police and CRPF officials in Sukma district, five surrendered in neighbouring Dantewada, they said.
Of the eight surrendered cadres, Vanjam Bheema is a member of the Naxals’ platoon number 4 in section B and carried a reward of Rs 2 lakh on his head. His wife, Madavi Kalawati, a member of the Maoists’ cultural outfit Chetna Natya Mandali (CNM), also surrendered, Sukma Superintendent of Police KL Dhruv said. The six others, identified as Ravi, Kosa, Deva, Dirdo Ganga, Sodi Dula and Kawasi Deva, were active as lower rung members of the banned outfit, he said, adding that Deva handed over a muzzle-loading gun.
In their statement, the surrendered ultras cited disappointment with the “hollow” Maoist ideology as well as exploitation of lower rung cadres by senior Naxal leaders, Dhruv said. All eight were given an encouragement amount of Rs 10,000 each, he said.
In Dantewada, five ‘jan militia; members surrendered at Kirandul police station as a part of the police’s rehabilitation drive ‘Lon Varratu’, another official said. With this surrender, 368 Naxals, including 96 carrying rewards on their heads, have laid down arms in the district under the campaign, the name of which means return to your home/village in the local Gondi dialect.
Naxals observe Jan Pituri week from Hune 5 to June 11 to pay homage to their slain colleagues, and during this period, security forces step up patrolling to thwart any untoward incident, officials said.