Two top Maoist insurgents, accused in hundreds of subversive and criminal incidents, voluntarily chose to surrender and join the mainstream in Jharkhand on Thursday.
The two had come out of their hideout area and were picked up by security forces a week ago. The police officially confirmed their surrender on Wednesday and produced them before the media on Thursday.
Sources said in the last one week, the two leaders guided forces to their secret hideouts and arms depots spread in the forests of Lohardaga, Gumla, Latehar and Palamu.
On their tip-off, forces recovered a huge cache of arms from Peshrar area in Lohardaga district. Raids were being carried out in many other secret hideouts, the police said.
Maoists’ Bihar Regional Commander (BRC) Nakul Yadav, 47, alias Arjun alias Jawahar Yadav alias Budha and zonal commander Madan Yadav , 36, said they were fed up with their life in the forests and hence, decided to join the mainstream and start life afresh.
They said the Jharkhand government’s surrender policy titled ‘Operation Nayi Disha’ attracted them.
An alleged mastermind of Maoists’ recruitment drives and training programmes, Nakul accepted his involvement in a few subversive incidents reported in his name but declined kidnapping and recruiting children to replenish the dwindling strength of their combat forces.
For years, his name was associated with abducting children and forcing villagers to spare a child from each family for the revolutionary cause.
“Those are mere allegations against me. We never abducted children but they came to us on their own driven by our magnanimity, care and grooming,” he said.
Nakul had joined the rebel outfit - it was MCC then - in 1993, influenced by then commander Rama Shankar Yadav of Bihar’s Aurangabad district. He said poverty, ignorance and a rift with upper caste neighbours over landholdings forced him to join the outfit.
In the last 24 years of his association with the organisation that later merged with People’s War in 2004 to form CPI (Maoists), Nakul was booked in around 144 criminal and subversive acts.
In 2002, he was arrested from Ranchi’s Khelari area while he was travelling on a motorcycle and put behind bars. For four years, he fought the cases against him and eventually got bail in 2006 from a Lohardaga court. Once out of jail, he returned to the outfit and took up a bigger role as regional head.
Initially branded a police informer and thrashed by the rebels, Madan joined the organisation in 2009 and rose in the ranks before being nominated as zonal commander of north Latehar area. He reported to Nakul and remained his trusted lieutenant till the two surrendered.
“Maoists leaders from Andhra Pradesh have been exploiting local men and women in the rebel organisation. I am glad that our Jharkhandis have understood their ploy and hence, are severing ties from the outfit in the larger interest of the society, state and its people,” additional director general of police RK Mallick said.
CRPF inspector general Sanjay Anand Lathkar said the Maoist leaders and soldiers had realised their revolutionary struggle was doing no good to the villagers and was instead making their lives more troublesome.
The police also put on display the arms and ammunitions seized from their hideouts. The seized items included light machine gun (LMG), semi-automatic rifle, AK-47 rifle, 303 bore rifle, SLR rifle, thousands of live cartridges and walkie-talkie sets.