Chhattisgarh to air appeals using surrendered Naxals
RAIPUR: Security agencies involved in anti-Naxal
operations in Chhattisgarh are contemplating of using surrendered Naxals to
motivate their comrades to follow suit by airing their appeals for surrender on
All India Radio.
According to sources in the Union Home Ministry, this
idea was mooted at a recent meeting held to review Left Wing Extremism (LWE) in
the affected states. Sources said it was felt that such a move could encourage
more surrenders, particularly in light of the fact that the Naxal movement is
at its lowest ebb and widespread disenchantment existed in the lower cadres of
the red brigades.
Sources said the move is still under consideration and
modalities are being worked out. They claimed that several suggesting in this
regard had come up and its pros and cons were being considered.
When contacted, RK Vij, ADG Naxal Operations,
confirmed that such plans were in the offing. Insisting that nothing had been
finalised yet, Vij said the proposal includes using motivational appeals from
surrendered Naxalites, particularly of the Divisional Committee members.
He said since radio is the main sources of information
for people residing in the interiors of the state, AIR is being considered the
best available option to spread the message. "We plan to air appeals from
surrendered area commanders to motivate their comrades to give up arms and join
the mainstream", he said.
Vij said the intention behind using surrendered area
commanders for issuing the appeals was that they were the ones who had actually
recruited the cadres and motivated them to join the violent struggle and hence
they also have the required influence to wean them away from it. He said though
the government's rehabilitation policy for surrendered Naxalites is well known,
its reiteration from the mouths of those who have given up arms is more
convincing and credible.
Vij revealed that there has been a steady increase in
the number of surrenders by Naxals in the past few years. As compared to 37
surrenders in 2012 and 39 in 2013, 70 Naxalites had voluntarily given up arms
till July 14 this year, he said.
Meanwhile according to Union Home Ministry's data,
there has been a steady decline in LWE violence across the country. Incidents
related to Maoist violence have come down to almost half in the last five
years. While in 2009, 908 people (including security personnel) were killed in
2,258 LWE related incidents, the number of incidents had come down to1,136 in
2013, in which 397 people were killed. Till July 11 this year, 188 people.
In contrast, it has been a 'bad' year for the Maoists
as they as they lost 200 of their cadres. According to a recent press release,
issued to commemorate the "martyrs week", the CPI (Maoists) stated,
"In the last one year, we have lost over 200 of our leaders, members,
People's Liberation Guerrilla Army commanders and guerrilla fighters, leaders
and members of people's organisations, members of Jan Militia and revolutionary
The release also stated that that many, including
Central Committee member Barun Dada and senior comrade Shaheeda Didi, had died
due to natural causes, including Central Committee member Barun Dada and senior
comrade Shaheeda Didi.
Police officials claim that in numbers, this figure
could be the highest in the recent years.