Raipur: The police in insurgency-hit Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh have launched a novel initiative to encourage Naxals to give up arms and join the mainstream by urging them to return to their villages.
Under the initiative named in local Gondi dialect as 'lon varratu', meaning 'return to your village', the police have started putting up posters and banners in the native villages of the Naxals, who carry cash rewards on their heads, mentioning their names and making an appeal to them to become a part of the society. The exercise was launched on Friday, police said.
These posters and banners also mention the mobile numbers of local senior police officials so that those Naxals who are willing to surrender may contact them, police said on Saturday.
"As a part of the initiative, a list of 13 Naxals, including four women, was pasted outside a panchayat building in Chikpal village," Dantewada Superintendent of Police Abhishek Pallava told PTI.
These ultras, hailing from Chikpal, carry rewards ranging from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 8 lakh on their heads and are active in south Bastar, he added.
This is the first of its kind initiative started in the state's Bastar region, which has been fighting the Left Wing Extremism (LWE) over the last three decades, he claimed.
"In the posters and banners, we have mentioned the names of the cadres, their ranks and reward amount, along with a message urging them to quit Naxalism and avail the benefits of surrender and rehabilitation policy of the state government," he said.
Pallava said that in many cases, villagers think that those who have left the village might have moved to neighbouring states in search of jobs, but disclosing the names of Naxals in public domain will help them identify those who have taken up arms.
"We are making a village-wise list of reward carrying Naxals mostly working in Sukma, Bijapur, Narayanpur and Rajnandgaon districts by consulting with the local police," he said.
Presently, 25 worst Naxal-hit villages, from where more than five reward-carrying Naxals hail, will be covered under the initiative. Roughly 200 Naxals, who are from Dantewada, carry cash rewards on their heads, Pallava said.
Names of all such Naxals from the district will be assembled in one booklet, which will then be distributed to all public representatives, administrative officers and personnel of other departments, he said.
"We have also initiated interaction with the family members of these Naxals to persuade them to motivate their kin, who have joined the outlawed CPI (Maoist), to surrender and lead a normal life," he said.
"In coordination with the district administration, a plan is also being prepared to construct small residential colonies in each village under government scheme for families of these Naxals and also provide other facilities to them," he said.
These families will be treated as Naxal-affected and we would request them to give a public call to their kin, who have taken up arms, to shun violence and get rehabilitated in their respective villages, he added