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Chhattisgarh News
Chhattisgarh to air appeals using surrendered Naxals
01-08-2014

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 masses".

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.