Ground report: The truth about Chhattisgarh’s recent Maoist surrenders
Recently, newspapers reported that 26 Maoists had surrendered in Sukma district. This was hailed as a major success in the fight against Naxalism in Bastar. The reality is more complex.
When Budru reported to the police station in Dornapal on December 8, he found an arrest warrant was waiting for him. The previous day, the station house officer had sent word to Chintalnar, the village where the 25-year-old handpump mechanic lived, asking him to report to the thana in Dornapal. The town is located in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district, part of the region of Bastar, which is witnessing a long-drawn Maoist insurgency. Budru travelled 45 kilometres on a broken road, only to find that the police had dug out an old rape case against him from 2010.
He steeled himself for arrest but instead was told he could “surrender” as a Maoist. By doing so, he could walk out free and even get a monetary award. Twenty four-year-old Ramesh, who runs a shop in Chintalnar, found himself in a similar fix. A warrant was issued against him for being accomplice in the murder of Nagesh, a special police officer from Chintalnar, allegedly killed by Maoists. A similar case was made against another shopkeeper, Govind, who says he witnessed the murder which took place in front of his shop but denied having anything to do with it. He was given an option: either turn in as a surrendered Naxalite or face arrest.
Maoist posters surface in Visakha Agency
Visakhapatnam: Fear has once again gripped Visakha Agency with the Maoists beginning their campaign for the protest week slated to begin from December 21. On Friday , scores of posters and banners surfaced in the area seeking public support for the success of the protest week. The members of the banned CPI (Maoists) have been spearheading the anti-bauxi te movement in the Agency for the past seven months since the death anniversary of revolutionist Alluri Seetaramaraju. Maoists have also declared a bandh in the AndhraOdisha Border (AOB) areas on December 26.
The Naxals have also threatened to disrupt the Araku Utsav if GO 97 is not cancelled. Rural police suspect that the naxals may indulge in violent activity during the protest week as they did not show their presence during the Peoples Liberation Guerilla Army week that was observed in the first week of December.