On Naxal surrenders

Leadership vacuum and disillusionment appear to be setting in Maoist ranks with the number of naxals surrendering before police swelling compared to previous years, official figures have showed.

The first 45-days of the year saw 201 Maoists laying down their arms and surrendering before authorities, according to Union Home Ministry data.

For officials, these numbers are very encouraging, as they believe if the trend continues, there would be a record number of Maoists surrendering in the year. The reasons could be leadership vacuum and disillusionment creeping among the cadres.

According to details placed in Parliament last week, the highest number of naxal surrenders this year until February 15 was in Chhattisgarh where 173 Maoists laid their arms before authorities. It accounted for 87.5 per cent of the surrenders.

Maharashtra witnessed 18 surrenders this year while Odisha had six till February 15. On Monday, another 39 Maoist supporters, including seven members of the armed militia and 12 village committee members, surrendered in Odisha’s Malkangiri.

Last year, there were 570 naxal surrenders across the country with Chhattisgarh topping the list with 323. In 2014, there were 676 surrenders with Chhattisgarh again topping the list with 413 such cases.

Security officials feel that there is a churning in the Maoist circles and the figures from Chhattisgarh are an encouragement for them to pursue them through a proactive rehabilitation policy.

“If we can offer attractive rehabilitation policy, we can certainly ensure surrender of a large number of Naxal cadres,” a Home Ministry official said.

At present, a surrendered higher-ranking naxal leader gets Rs 2.5 lakh and middle, and lower level cadres Rs 1.5 lakh as an immediate grant besides Rs 4,000 per month for 36 months. The additional incentives given for surrender of weapons range from Rs 10 to Rs 35,000 per weapon depending on type of weapon surrendered from detonator to Light Machine Gun and Rocket Launcher.

NAXAL SURRENDERS

 

State

 

2013

 

2014

 

2015

 

 

2016

(till Feb 15)

 

Andhra Pradesh

 

64

 

78

 

100

 

0

 

Bihar

 

3

 

4

 

22

 

2

 

Chhattisgarh

 

28

 

413

 

323

 

173

 

Jharkhand

 

15

 

19

 

14

 

0

 

Maharashtra

 

53

 

43

 

29

 

18

 

Odisha

 

100

 

100

 

73

 

6

 

Telangana

 

18

 

16

 

9

 

2

 

Others

 

1

 

3

 

0

 

0

 

Total

 

282

 

676

 

570

 

201

Source: Union Home Ministry

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on Mar 8, 2016)

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