Edited By: Pathikrit Sen Gupta
Last Updated: December 22, 2022, 00:16 IST
Over 600 active militia who provided support to Maoists have surrendered to Odisha Police and the BSF in Malkangiri. The 600 people included 400 active militia men who surrendered. These men hail from different villages under the Chitakonda block of Malkangiri district that were once considered a stronghold of the red rebels.
The supporters used to assist in violent activities and had a hand in the killing of security forces and civilians, besides supplying all kinds of logistics to Maoists, officials said.
The surrendered militia and supporters exhibited their opposition to the Maoist ideology by burning uniforms and effigies during the programme held on the occasion. They also shouted anti-Maoist slogans before a large group of media persons who were present at the venue.
“The state government has been providing several welfare schemes to us. We are taking benefit of the schemes related to health, education, etc. The police and BSF stand with us and are providing security to our life and property. Keeping this in mind, we helped the police and joined the mainstream of society,” said a former Maoist supporter.
Officials too say that the development initiatives of the Odisha government coupled with the strategic deployment of security forces inspired villagers to join the mainstream. A series of developmental works like the construction of new roads, bridges, medical facilities, installation of mobile towers, and projects to supply drinking water and electricity to all houses in the area have been executed so far.
These development works and the presence of security forces motivated the Maoist militia and sympathisers to join the mainstream, said Malkangiri superintendent of police Nitesh Wadhwani.
On June 12 this year about 50 active Maoist supporters had surrendered before the Odisha director general of police SK Bansal here.
Maoist supporters surrendered before the police on four other occasions too earlier, which have created a huge impact in the area and many others are considering ‘ghar wapsi’ (return to mainstream), the SP claimed.
More than two thousand Maoist supporters have reportedly surrendered to Malkangiri police within a year. If the Maoists surrender to the police, they get a reward amount according to their cadre. An area committee member (ACM) on surrendering will get Rs 4 lakh and upwards. Similarly, a party member cadre gets a reward amount of Rs 1 lakh. Through the state government’s rehabilitation scheme, they are given training of education, health, and skill development to help them move forward.
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