Sunday, May 07, 2006

Extension of surrender policy for Naxals revives hope

Nagpur, May 07: The recent extension of Maharashtra government's surrender policy for Naxals has once again revived hopes for police in Naxal-infested districts in eastern part of the state as they expect several ultras to lay down arms and join the mainstream.

"As the surrender policy had lapsed, some of the Naxal cadre, who were keen to give up arms, had given up the hope", superintendent of police of worst-affected Gachiroli district, Shirish Jain, told mediapersons.

"Four Naxals had surrendered when the policy had lapsed and we were in a piquant situation as to what to do with them. But since the state government has extended the scheme from March 1, they would now be covered under the amnesty policy", he said.

Stating that though the surrender policy had failed to attract any prominent Naxals, Jain said so far the ultras of the level of deputy dalam commanders and others had surrendered.

IG police, anti-Naxalite operation (ANO) Pankaj Gupta said so far 80 ultras have surrendered in Vidarbha. Now the policy, which had expired in February, has been extended till August-end.

The policy was first announced in September 2005, in a bid to give the ultras a chance to shun the path of violence and join the mainstream.

Gupta said the fate of four Naxals, who had surrendered in March, would be decided by an official panel headed by the District Collector.

Ultras, who lay down arms, are given financial assistance ranging from Rs. 2 lakh to Rs 10 lakh to a Dalam commander or those of high rank, and Rs 1 lakh to deputy commander and Rs 75,000 to Area Rakshak Dal or Gram Rakshak Dal.

Naxals, surrendering with firearms like AK 47, self loading rifles or light machine gun are entitled for more benefits, he said.

Jain said after the Maharashtra government announced the surrender policy, the Naxal outfits have shifted some of their top ranking ultras out of state.

Bureau Report

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