Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Maoists claim Dantewada cops staging surrenders, SP says allegation ‘result of frustration’


Maoists have decried the police’s new rehabilitation campaign, Lon Varratu, alleging that those ‘surrendering’ are common villagers. Police says Naxals are misleading people.

PRITHVIRAJ SINGH
A file photo of Dantewada SP Abhishek Pallava with villagers in Potali village in the district. | Photo: ANI
A file photo of Dantewada SP Abhishek Pallava with villagers in Potali village in the district. | Photo: ANI
https://theprint.in/india/maoists-claim-dantewada-cops-staging-surrenders-sp-says-allegation-result-of-frustration/480331/

Raipur: After the surrender of over 70 Naxals in Dantewada under the Chhattisgarh Police’s new rehabilitation campaign, Maoists in the state have made several allegations in a bid to decry the drive.

In a new pamphlet released Monday, the Darbha Divisional Committee of the banned group, Communist Party of India (Maoist), alleged that the Dantewada police is presenting common civilians as surrendered Maoists.

“The general public is being arrested to force them to surrender as Naxalites. Surrender has now become a business. The SP is showcasing the surrender policy in order to earn money,” committee secretary Sainath said in the pamphlet.

Several members of the group’s cadre have surrendered under the Lon Varratu campaign launched in June, according to the police.

The Naxals also sought to target one of its former members, Badal, who surrendered last year. They demanded action against Badal and other surrendered Naxals, who are the main accused in the assassination of BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

“On 9 April 2019, Bhima Madavi was assassinated in a bomb blast. The blast was carried out by the Maoists but the man who holds primary responsibility for this is a traitor named Badal. He should be punished immediately,” said the pamphlet.

The Naxals also alleged that the police is distributing mobile phones to the villagers in Dantewada district to create a network of informers.

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“Dantewada SP Dr. Abhishek Pallava and the local police are distributing mobiles to the general public, school going children, teachers, anganwadi workers and Mitanins. Along with this, free SIMs are also being provided for phone numbers,” said the pamphlet.

“By doing this, they are working to create a ‘Sukli-network’ (informant network) by enticing the common people. In a way they are entrusting the villagers with a task akin to tearing their eyes with their own fingers,” it alleged.

Also read: Chhattisgarh’s anti-Naxal fight is hit as Modi govt has cut 65% funds, says minister


Maoists are frustrated, says police official

Dantewada Superintendent of Police Abhishek Pallava denied all these allegations, saying the pamphlet is a direct result of the Naxals’ “frustration” as its supply network has been affected.

“Several of their key suppliers have been arrested by the police recently, due to which they are no longer getting the supplies of logistics and explosives. The Maoists want to save their suppliers,” he said.

On Badal, Pallava said, “There is no doubt that he is the main accused (in Bhima Mandavi case) but the surrender policy is formed in such a manner that the cases against those who surrender get dropped.”

Badal had surrendered along with his wife last year. This month, he also urged his Naxalite sister to surrender under the campaign on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan.

The investigation into the death of the slain BJP MLA is being carried out by the National Investigation Agency. According to police sources, six accused persons in the case were arrested with help of Badal’s disclosures.

All these accused were key suppliers for the Maoists, said the sources.

Pallava also denied the charge of making common villagers surrender as Naxals. “All those who have surrendered are real Maoist cadre. Naxalites also term the members of their frontal organisations as ordinary citizens. By doing this they intend to mislead the people,” he said.

He said 71 Maoists have surrendered so far under Lon Varratu, which is being run to facilitate the return of Naxalites. “Many of them carried prizes against their names,” he said.


Also read: NHRC asks Chhattisgarh to pay Rs 1 lakh each to DU professor, activists 4 yrs after false FIR


Naxal stranglehold ‘weaker’ now

The official also noted a change in the Naxal approach, saying the latest pamphlet is nothing like what the Maoists used to say. Earlier, they would often accuse the police of torturing people, raping women and killing anganwadi workers, among others.

“This proves that the Maoists are no longer getting any issues to target the security forces,” said Pallava.

“They are saying that the police force is providing mobile phones and SIM cards to the villagers. The Naxalites have themselves admitted that they killed their own comrades who were not collaborating in the conspiracy to stall the development works,” he said.

“Now they are giving clarification to the villagers about their actions,” he said.

In the pamphlet, the Maoists sought to clarify that the two villagers killed on 22 July in Potali village of Dantewada were police informers even as police sources said these were colleagues of Naxal commander Deva and were killed by the Maoists.

Pallava added, “They have started to ask the police to take action against the surrendered Maoists. From all this, it is clear that their stranglehold among the villagers is getting diminished

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