Saturday, July 03, 2021

Naxalism, its origin and how it has affected development in India

Armed Naxals attacked an iron ore mine in Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpur district on Saturday; set four vehicles engaged in construction work on fire. Two workers on site were reported missing after the incident; the incident happened in the Aaamdai iron ore mine. When the police of the Narayanpur district was alerted about this issue, they rushed to the spot where they engaged in crossfire with the rebels.

This is not the first time when papers are filled news of Naxal attacks, Naxal loot or Naxal massacres. On 25 May 2013, Mahendra Karma, a politician from Indian National Congress INC, who was the founder of Salwa Judum, an anti-Maoist force, was brutally killed by Naxalites. He was returning from a Parivartan rally meeting organised in Sukma. Alongside Karma, Vidya Charan Shukla, a leader of the Indian National Congress was murdered in the same brutal attack. Apart from this, in 2015, 25 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officers were killed in an ambush with the Naxalites in the Sukma district of south Chhattisgarh. Apart from these highlighted cases, there are many incidents where Naxals have looted, killed, raped, tortured innocent men, children and women.

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Let’s dwell deeper into why Naxalism exists in India-

What is Naxalism? What is its history?

Naxalism or left-wing extremism has been an issue for India since the 1960s. The Naxalites are primarily spread in Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and few parts of Andhra Pradesh also known as red corridor. It traces its roots to a revolt that happened in Naxalbari village of West Bengal in 1967. The Maoist movement was at its peak when the peasants, Adivasis and landless labourers looted granaries of the landlord of Naxalbari. The rebellion was brutally suppressed by police, which led to the mobilisation of Naxalites under the leadership of Charu Mazumdar, Kanu Sanyal and Jangal Santhal. These rebels were aided by the Chinese and people from nearby villages.

The Chinese media depicted this movement as spring thunder. Insurgents or Maoists gained political momentum when the Communist Party of India (Maoist-Leninist) merged with People’s War Group PWG. This group fought for peasants’ cause and the rights of landless labourers who were suppressed. The only problem with this noble cause was that PWG resorted to violent techniques like assassinations, attacks, looting, bombing of Andhra Pradesh’s landlords, politicians and upper caste leaders.

Naxalites are the Indian version of Maoists, who in turn are the Chinese version of Marxists. Naxalites are far-left political extremists who support Mao and use violent measures to prove their point. Many Naxalites have their representation in the Indian parliament by political parties like the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) liberation and Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Jana Shakti. Communist Party of India (Maoist) is deemed as a terrorist organisation.

In 2004 these two Maoist factions merged, which collectively strengthened the insurgents allowing them to spread in new areas. These insurgents had their carders where they trained people to use weapons, kill, launch shoulder rocket weapons and other explosive devices, et cetera. These insurgents controlled 200 districts in 2006. The financial aid increased their resources and even increased recruits in their organisation. To date, Naxalites have covered an extensive geographical area and broke records of all insurgent organisations, even Jammu Kashmir and the Northeast.

Why did the Naxalites gather so much momentum and sympathy? What are the reasons for the spread of Naxalism?

The historic wrongdoings-

The Britishers introduced the Forest monopolisation act so that forests can be peacefully exploited for their resources. After Independence, the Forest Conservation Act of 1980 denied tribals their right to forests. This was unfair because tribals are dependent on the forests for their livelihood; the act prohibited them from cutting even bark on a tree. Big corporate companies were given tenders to exploit these mineral-rich regions, because of which tribal populations were displaced. When a person is denied the right to livelihood and his home, he becomes an easy target for hate crimes. The Maoists targeted them and provided the tribals with hope, arms, ammunition and money.

Poor development policies- The regions affected by Naxalism has inter-regional and intraregional inequalities, which fuelled people’s anger. They turned towards Naxalism because of poor infrastructure, poor employment prospects, which increased disparity among upper caste and lower caste people. Naxals have recruits mostly from medical and engineering backgrounds. The reason behind it is poor employment prospects which force students with high education loans to resort to these measures. This led to an anti-government mindset amongst deprived people.

Poor implementation of land reforms-

The land reforms were poorly introduced in these areas, hence did not generate proper results. There was absence of necessary survey and data collection.

Constitutional issues-

The state government considers Naxalism as the central government’s problem. The central government states that unless states ask for their help, they cannot intervene. Naxalism is a security threat, or Naxalism is a social issue; this question has not been deliberated upon.

How has Naxalism destroyed economic progress?

The economics of Naxalism, apart from foreign funding, stands on four activities – extortion and kidnapping, loot, levy and destruction. Because of limited data, exact figures cannot be acquired, but everyone knows that Naxals have burned houses and vehicles, torched humans and destroyed highways, businesses, mining operations et cetera. No sane businessman or organisation would want to set up their office in an area constantly under Naxals’ threat. Law and order and stability is an essential factor for the development of business. It is because of this reason that these regions are marked by a lack of education, housing, employment opportunities, infrastructure et cetera.

Constant loot and killings also inhibit tourism, trade, telecommunications et cetera. Offices of Airtel, Reliance, BSNL et cetera were torched in Daltonganj, Dantewada, Sukma, Gadchiroli et cetera. This region has constant blackouts because Naxals have frequently destroyed high tension electric transmission towers and poles in areas like Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Electricity is important if a person wishes to run hospital, public utilities etc.

The Naxals have continuously targeted schools and railway lines. They have looted goods and passenger trains, causing derailment of Dnyaneshwari express and set fire to Vishakha express.         

How has the government responded to tackle Naxalism?

The government of India launched Operation Green Hunt in 2010. It was an armed response against the growing problem of Naxalism, where the government deployed security forces in Naxal affected areas. After nine years of operation, the districts controlled by Naxalites have come down from 223 to 90.

Relief and rehabilitation policy – The government launched this policy to tap into the Naxalites who want to surrender and bring them into the mainstream. As a result, members of the Central Committee Politburo of Communist parties were murdered or arrested.

Aspirational districts program – this program was introduced in 2018 so that districts affected by Naxalism can register progress in critical social areas. Naxal controlled areas have a record of poor development. All these efforts have ensured that the number of violent crimes in affected regions have reduced.

Even after so much work, the root cause has not been addressed. The Centre and state government needs to follow a dual policy where rehabilitation and security are ensured simultaneously. In a research-backed book by Nandini Sundar, a DU professor called ‘the burning forest’, she described how villagers are stuck between judum and Naxals. Both these organisations don’t let the villagers live or leave. Surprisingly her book was banned by the government. The governments can work towards rescue and rehabilitation programmes of Naxal affected areas, jointly and simultaneously

Maoist attack mining area in Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpur, one killed

The incident took place in Dongar hills in Aamdai Ghati where Jayaswal Neco Industries Limited (JNIL) has been allotted an iron ore mine.
UPDATED ON JUL 03, 2021 11:35 PM IST

Image for representation. (ANI)

Maoists attacked an iron ore mining site in Narayanpur district of Chhattisgarh on Saturday and killed an employee of a private firm after torching vehicles and machinery, police said on Saturday.

Police said that an exchange of fire took place between the Maoists and security personnel on Saturday.

The incident took place in Dongar hills in Aamdai Ghati where Jayaswal Neco Industries Limited (JNIL) has been allotted an iron ore mine. Maoists attacked the site around 10 am and set fire to four Poclain excavator machines and two Hyva trucks besides other machinery deployed for the construction work,” a press note issued by police stated.

The release further stated that there were 14 workers at the spot.

“Maoists thrashed supervisor Pradip Sheel to death with sticks and also injured some others,” police said.

Police said that after being alerted about the incident, a team of security forces from a nearby police camp set off for the spot. Reinforcement was rushed to the spot and 13 workers, along with the body of the dead employee, were taken to Chhote Dongar police station. A search operation is underway to trace the rebels.


India Today

A supervisor of a private iron ore mine was tied up and beaten to death in Chhattisgarh on Saturday as Naxals attacked the mine and torched machinery and six vehicles there. The incident took place in Dongar hills in Aamdai Ghati area of Narayanpur district.

According to the police, an exchange of fire took place between the Naxals and security personnel who were rushed to the areas after receiving information about the attack on the private mine.

The iron ore mine that was attacked belongs to the Jayaswal Neco Industries Limited (JNIL). Officials said production is yet to start and pre-mining area development work was underway at the site when Naxals attacked it.

Sources say around 100 Naxals, dressed in black colour uniform, stormed the iron mine and created havoc for nearly two hours. They also attacked security forces by planting an ambush and hurling grenades at them. However, no injuries were suffered in it.

The supervisor who was killed in the attack has been identified as Pradip Sheel. Officials say his hands were tied and the Naxals beat him to death. Sheel had reportedly come to work at the mine 15 days ago.

In the attack, the Naxals torched two Poclain excavator machines, two Hyva trucks besides other vehicles at the mine.

The place where the attack took place is nearly one km away from the camp of the Chhattisgarh Armed Force.



"Naxals stormed the construction site around 10am and threatened workers, asking them to stop the work," Inspector General of Police (Bastar range) Sundarraj P said.

He added that at the time of the attack, there were 14 workers at the spot. Before fleeing, the Naxals thrashed some of them.

"They beat Pradip Sheel, a supervisor, to death with sticks," the IG said.

Meanwhile, speaking about the attack, Superintendent of Police Mohit Garg said the mining company had not informed the police about their ongoing road-construction activity. "This was the reason why there was no security cover for the mine and the Naxals found it to be an easy target."

"After being alerted about the incident, a team of security forces from a nearby police camp set off for the spot. Some naxals who were hiding in the forest fired country-made BGL (barrel grenade launcher) on security forces and the camp, leading to a gun-battle," Garg said, adding that no security personnel was injured.

However, contradicting the SP's version, Jayaswal Neco's local in-charge HN Jha said they had informed the police about the ongoing work at the mining site.

(With inputs from Dharmendra Mahapatra in Bastar, and agencies

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Madhya Pradesh: Villager shot dead by Maoists in Balaghat, 5th kill in three years

P Naveen | TNN | Updated: Jun 30, 2021, 17:06 IST
Balaghat superintendent of police (SP) Abhishek Tiwari told media that search operations were underway.

BHOPAL/JABALPUR: A 45-year-old man was abducted and shot dead by Maoists on suspicion of being a police informer in Balaghat district of 

Madhya Pradesh

 late on Tuesday night. 

The deceased has been identified as Bhagchand Adme, resident of village Bamhani under Bithali police station.

This village is located close to Maoist-controlled core area of Kanha National park.

A hand-written pamphlet was found near his body, saying he wasan informer and therefore he is being ‘sentenced to death’.

His wife Hemlata told the media that around seven to eight armed men came to her house and abducted Bhagchand at gunpoint.

They had assured her that Bhagchand would be returned after questioning.

She said that armed persons, who were in a certain uniform, had told family members that they would return Bhagchand after questioning him.

When he didn’t return for two hours, family members initiated a search only to find him dead with a wound on his forehead. Police sources said that Bhagchand was shot at from point blank range.

Balaghat superintendent of police (SP) Abhishek Tiwari told media that search operations were underway.

Members of Malajkhand Area Committee of Tada Dalamare suspected to be behind this murder.

Last year a 30-year-old man, who had returned from Hyderabad following the Covid-19 lockdown, was shot dead by alleged Maoists in the same region on suspicion of being a police informer.

The victim, Sonu Tekam, was killed and his body was found the next morning beside a road.

A handwritten note left in the body warned that all police informers would receive the same punishment. Some Maoist literature was found in his pocket. Sonu had worked at a construction site in Hyderabad for three years and returned to his village, Pujari Tola, along with thousands others in the lockdown. His father, Cheta Tekam, told police that a youngster living in the neighbourhood led him away and his body was found dumped on the roadside the next day.

Sonu was shot dead at close range.

This is the fifth murder by 

Maoists in Balaghat

 in three years.

In June 2019, a 40-year-old man was tortured, stabbed and shot dead after being accused of being a police informer.

The victim, Brajlal Munda of Pikona village, was dragged out of his house by members of Malanjkhand Dalam, say police.

They beat him mercilessly, and then tortured him for an hour during which they stabbed him repeatedly. Finally, he was shot at point blank range.

There had been a spurt in Maoist activity in Balaghat ever since the new Gadchiroli-Rajnandgaon-Balaghat (GRB) zone was set up.

This region straddles the tri-junction of 



 and Madhya Pradesh

Tension prevails in Andhra-Odisha border area following Maoists bandh call

Siva G | TNN | Jun 30, 2021, 21:04 IST
Cops have been conducting vehicle checks for the past three days as they suspect that Maoists may attack government properties.

VISAKHAPATNAM: Tension prevailed in Andhra-Odisha border (AOB) areas as 


 gave call for bandh on Thursday and security forces intensified combing operations.

Bomb and dog squads were pressed into action and cops started grilling suspicious people.

It is recalled that the banned outfit CPI (Maoists) gave a call for AOB Bandh on July 1 in a protest against the killing of their six cadres in Teegalametta forests in 


 mandal of Visakha agency last week.

Cops have been conducting vehicle checks for the past three days as they suspect that Maoists may attack government properties.

They have even conducted security drills with the help of drone cameras in tribal areas. All the persons in the Maoists' hit list were asked to go to safer places.

Central Reserve Police Force



 rank officer Rashmi Sukla and IG rank officer Mahesh Chandra Laddah had gone to Visakha agency on a surprise visit. They interacted with 


 jawans and instigated confidence among them

Andhra Pradesh: Maoists involved in molestation of women cadres, say police

Siva G | TNN | Jun 30, 2021, 22:32 IST
In a press release, Paderu ASP VB Raj Kamal alleged that a Maoist Kondru Prabhakar alias Ashok has been molesting five women cadres. (File Photo)

VISAKHAPATNAM: The Vizag rural police has alleged that a few Maoists are involved in molestation of women cadres and ganja cultivation.

In a press release, Paderu ASP VB Raj Kamal alleged that a Maoist Kondru Prabhakar alias Ashok has been molesting five women cadres. 

“We have information that DCM cadre Maoist Sudhir informed this to top leaders Aruna and Arun also, but they are encouraging Ashok because he is an expert in killing tribals by branding them as informers. Not only this, he is arranging funds through ganja trade and he is destroying the properties of tribals. This is opportunism and lack of ideology of Maoists,” he alleged.

The police officer alleged that not only Ashok, but also Srikanth, Baburao, Mohan, Taggupadu Srinu and others were also involved in ganja trade and are also collecting levy from the contractors.

He alleged that around 100 innocent tribals were branded informers and killed by the ultras in 


 agency 3995207.cms

Home Ministry declares six Bihar districts Naxal-free

By Rajesh Kumar Thakur| Express News Service | Published: 30th June 2021 11:26 AM

For representational purposes. (Photo | PTI)

PATNA: The Ministry of Home Affairs has declared six out of 16 Naxal-affected districts in Bihar as Naxal-free, thus reducing the activities of the outlawed CPI (Maoist) in the state to only 10 districts.

According to this new classification, Muzaffarpur, Vaishali, Jehanabad, Nalanda, Arwal and East Champaran have been cleared from the list of Naxal-affected districts. In the absence of any Naxal bases, security-related expenses in these districts will no longer be spent on the prevention of Naxal activities. 

With the exclusion of these districts, only 10 districts of Bihar, namely Rohtas, Kaimur, Gaya, Nawada, Jamui, Lakhisarai, Aurangabad, Banka, Munger and West Champaran are currently in the category of Naxal-affected districts of the country. 

Aurangabad district has been flagged as a ‘district of concern’ with regard to Naxal influences in the country.

Earlier, the Ministry of Home Affairs had declared 7 other districts, namely Patna, Sitamarhi, Bhojpur, Bagaha, Begusarai, Khagaria and Sheohar, as Naxal-free

Naxalites killed man, also dropped threatening letter- 'Police informer beware...'

Jun 30 2021 04:17 PM
News Track

Bhopal: The latest example of how Naxalites are creating terror in Madhya Pradesh has come to light. In Balaghat, Naxalites killed a man in the middle of the road calling him a 'police informer.' The Naxalites first pulled a man named Bhagchand out of his house without fear of anyone, then killed him. At the same time, a pamphlet warning people were also left out.

According to the information, the incident took place in Bamhani village under the Balaghat district. The murder is said to have been carried out by Naxalites of TADA, Malajkhand Area Committee. Police had received information on Wednesday morning that the body of a man named Bhagchand was lying in the middle of the road. Preliminary investigations revealed that the Naxalites reached Bahmani village late on Tuesday night and first pulled Bhagchand out of the house and then shot him dead calling him a police informer. According to villagers, 9 to 10 Naxalites were present at the spot with weapons while carrying out the incident. They also released pamphlets on the spot about him being a police informer.

Balaghat Superintendent of Police Abhishek Tiwari confirmed the incident. However, police are refusing to treat the deceased as a police informer. SP Abhishek Tiwari said the deceased was a munshi in Tendupatta Phad. The work of Tendupatta Turai is currently underway so it is likely that the Naxalites killed him in connection with the illegal recovery and later declared the deceased as a police informer.

Police in Telangana tap kin to make Maoists surrender, assure rehabilitation


Ch Sushil Rao | TNN | Updated: Jun 30, 2021, 07:37 IST
Representative image

HYDERABAD: In a bid to make Maoists 


 and join the mainstream, 


 in the state are approaching their families.

With instances of 


 succumbing to 


 in recent times, cops are telling the families that the surrender would mean that the Maoists would not only be provided medical help and 


 but also 


DGP M Mahendar Reddy has put the onus on police chiefs in the districts to convince the families of Maoists to bring them round. Some district SPs are already visiting villages to bring out Maoists who have gone underground.

In Dedra village in Adilabad, 75-year-old Anjana Bai made an appeal to her 38-year old daughter Sumana to leave the jungles and come back home. District SP M Rajesh Chandra, who visited Dedra and spoke to the 


, did not find it easy to convince the mother to make the appeal.

“If my mother were to make an appeal to me, I being her son would definitely listen to her. Similarly, your daughter too, I am sure, will react positively to your appeal,” he told Anjana Bai. The mother gave vague responses to the SP for sometime but after villagers explained to her in her dialect what the SP was saying, she made an appeal and asked her daughter to think positively on her appeal to surrender. Sumana alias Seethakka had gone underground for last 20 years.

Rakshitha Murthy, DCP, Malkajgiri zone in Rachakonda commissionerate limits, also visited two families, urged them to make similar appeals.

Accompanied by additional DCP, Kushaiguda, Shivakumar, the DCP went to the house of Alwal Chandrahas, an underground cadre of Maoists, and spoke to his family , including his elder sister Alwal Parvathi and brother-in-law Alwal Narsing Rao at their residence at Yapral in Medchal mandal.

She also visited Pallepati Balaiah (60) and Pallepati Pochamma (55), parents of Pallepati Radha, who is an underground cadre of the Maoists. The family resides at New Indiranagar in Kapra mandal of Medchal district. They were explained about the rehabilitation that would be provided to the Maoists if they surrendered.

Mulugu district SP Sangram Singh Patil said the top leadership of Maoists and also cadre were suffering from Covid-19 and assured them that if they surrendered, they would be given proper medical treatment

Are Maoists expanding their footprint in Madhya Pradesh?

The Union home ministry’s list of LWE-affected districts includes a third now in MP.

Picture for representation.

Have Maoists expanded their footprint in Madhya Pradesh? It seems so going by the latest classification of left-wing extremism (LWE) affected districts in the country, put out by the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA).

Till 2018, Madhya Pradesh only had one district, Balaghat, classified as an LWE-affected district. In 2018, an adjoining tribal and forested district, Mandla, was included in the list. In the latest classification, the MHA has added Dindori, another adjoining district to the Maoist-affected list in MP.

Broadly, the MHA has three categories of LWE-affected districts. The lowest classification and of least concern is a district that is eligible for security related expenditure (SRE). Dindori, the district to be included most recently, has been included in the SRE eligible districts. Simply put, SRE eligible districts get additional funds from the Union government to set up security infrastructure such as camps to combat the Maoists. The MHA has also upgraded Mandla as a ‘district of concern’. Eight districts in six states have been included as districts of concern. Balaghat has been upgraded as a ‘most affected district’, among the 25 in the country accorded this classification.

Madhya Pradesh should be concerned. More districts as LWE affected means areas hitherto with no Maoist presence have started recording their movements. Mandla had its first encounter ever with Maoists in December 2020. Dindori is considered an entry point for members of the ‘Vistaar battalion/ dalam’.

Why has Dindori been included as an SRE eligible district? Sources in the security establishment point out that there has been a spillover effect of Maoist cadre coming from neighbouring Chhattisgarh to Dindori. Dindori is located to the north-east of Mandla and borders Chhattisgarh too. Once Maoist activity picked up in Mandla, it was only logical that it would engulf Dindori. The state government sent a report on Naxal activity there which was corroborated by intelligence agencies leading to the inclusion of Dindori.

"The inclusion of Dindori as an LWE- affected district does not necessarily imply that the Maoist footprint in MP is expanding. Maoist presence in Balaghat district has been recorded for some years now and the forces have been successfully managing the challenge. Dindori's inclusion as an SRE district would enable the forces to launch a more robust and effective response to Maoists through the security infrastructure that would be created," says IG Naxal Operations, MP, Sajid Fareed Shapu.



The Vistaar battalion of the Maoists has been active in the tri-junction area of MP, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra for the past few years now. The Vistaar battalion/ dalam (literally meaning extension) came up after the Maoists started losing control of territory in south Chhattisgarh (CG) and decided to explore new areas for operations. They felt that opening up a new front would put pressure on forces that were gaining in south CG. Towards this end, a Maoist force was raised to operate in the tri-junction of MP, CG and Maharashtra.

Balaghat, Mandla and Dindori are the districts affected on the MP side, with Kawardha and Rajnandgaon on the Chhattisgarh side and Gadhchiroli on the Maharashtra side. This is the area of operations of the Vistaar dalam.

In February this year, two women Maoists were killed in a gun battle with security forces in Mandla district. This was the first time an encounter between security forces and Maoists was reported from Mandla. In December 2020, two other women Maoists were killed in Kirnapur area of Balaghat district. Balaghat has witnessed half a dozen ‘engagements’ between the forces and Maoists in the last 10 months.

But even as districts are declared LWE affected, they may not be affected in their entirety by the presence of Maoists, but it does give an idea of their expanding footprint. Balaghat district, originally the only LWE affected district in MP, is 9,245 sq. km in area. With the addition of Mandla and Dindori, a 15,000 sq. km area has been added in the last three years.

Sources in the security establishment say that plans are afoot to set up more camps with more central paramilitary personnel. The Hawk Force, MP’s dedicated anti-Naxal force which presently has one battalion but an effective strength of around 1,200, will also see the induction of more personnel.

Monday, June 28, 2021

3 naxalites including militia commander surrender in Dantewada


Dantewada, June 28: Three Naxals, comprising a militia commander and two members of a supply team of the outlawed CPI (Maoist), surrendered in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district on Monday, an official said.

3 naxalites including militia commander surrender in Dantewada

They were involved in attacks on police teams, planting improvised explosive devices (IEDs), damaging roads and putting up Maoist posters and banners in south Bastar districts since 2014 till last year, he said.

"They turned themselves in citing they were impressed by the police's rehabilitation drive 'Lon Varratu' and disappointed with the hollow Maoist ideology," Dantewada Superintendent of Police Abhishek Pallava said.



"Deva Muchaki (31) is a militia commander of Kunna panchayat carrying a reward of Rs 1 lakh on his head. The other two, Ganga alias Bhaskar Baghel (23) and Rattu alias Raju Baghel (28), were members of the supply team of the Naxals' Katekalyan area committee. Ganga and Rattu were instrumental in supplying materials used in making explosives, medicines and essential items to ultras," Pallava informed.

He said 378 Naxals, 100 of them carrying cash rewards on their heads, have so far quit the outlawed movement under the 'Lon Varratu' or return to your home-village campaign, launched in June last year.

Under this campaign, Dantewada police have put posters and banners in the villages of at least 1,600 Naxals, mostly carrying cash rewards, asking them to law down arms and return to the mainstream

Aadhaar more than 12 digits for ex-Reds

By Ejaz Kaiser| Express News Service | Published: 28th June 2021 08:17 AM

For representational purposes (Photo | PTI)

RAIPUR:  For surrendered CPI-Maoist cadres, Aadhaar is just not merely 12 digits. It means a new life. The document establishes their identity as bonafide citizens — something which was not possible during their days as outlaws.

Under the special initiative Lon Varratu-2, the former rebels are enrolled for Aadhaar by the Dantewada police and district administration, to facilitate them avail the benefits of ration card, bank account, smart health card, voter identity card among others. It does not end there. They are now being administered Covid vaccines, thanks to their Aadhaar.

Former Maoist cadres are handed
Aadhaar at an event | eXPRESS

In Dantewada district, 375 Maoists had surrendered after seeing the success of ‘Lon Varratu’ (in local tribal Gondi dialect meaning return to your home/village) campaign which was launched a year ago. There are 454 surrendered rebels listed in the district since 2019 to be covered under the ongoing Lon Varratu-2.

“It gives a feel of being a part of the mainstream and living a dignified life. We are now entitled to receive government benefits too,” said Sukhnath Potam, a resident of Narayanpur and former Maoist who got his first vaccine dose. 

“Now, my family has MNREGS job card, thanks to Aadhaar,” said Mata Kawasi from Bijapur. The project apparently works on the dictum that with the Aadhaar card issued by UIDAI, no one should be deprived of the benefits associated with it.

“Based in the conflict zone, their situation is different from among the millions of Indians who initially didn’t have any reliable or recognised identity documentation. Aadhaar is the first form of legitimate identity which the surrendered rebels will now acquire under Lon Varratu-2,” said Abhishek Pallava, Dantewada district police chief.

A few months ago, Dantewada police carried out a feedback survey from the surrendered Maoists in the villages. “We found not even 25 of the 454 rebels who surrendered since 2019 had Aadhaar. They remain deprived of various beneficial services and welfare programmes. So we launched Lon Varratu-2 from May 31,” the SP added.  

The ongoing initiative so far has facilitated 139 Aadhaar cards, 100 ration cards, 135 voter identity cards and 129 bank accounts for the surrendered Maoists. The Bastar police hope such initiatives will encourage other Maoists to surrender and help them return to  the mainstream