Efforts to wean away Maoists from the path of violence seems to be making progress going by the response to the government's surrender packages announced in Jharkhand and West Bengal a month back.
Jharkhand has made a head-start with 10 rebels giving up arms since the state government announced the 'Operation Nai Disha’ on July 31. Though only two ultras have surrendered in West Bengal since the government's rehabilitation package was announced on July 28, the police top brass believe that more are in the offing.
"Apart from the two -- Shobhan Karak alias Bijoy and Sova Mandi alias Sikha -- who have surrendered, we expect some hardcore Maoists to follow their example in the next week," West Midnapore district Superintendent of Police Monoj Verma said.
Bengal DGP Bhupinder Singh told PTI that local people have been increasingly turning away from Left-Wing extremists, specially at Binpur and Radhanagar in West Midnapore district.
Jharkhand's Zonal IG Rezi Dungdung also expressed the same optimism, saying, "Many more extremists are willing to surrender and are in touch with the local police. Earlier this month two rebels had turned themselves in before Dungdung.
Verma said more Maoists would have surrendered but for the threat of physical harm to themselves and their families by the ultras. "They are scared and the Maoists are putting pressure on them not to give themselves up." The SP said the authorities have, therefore, decided to keep those "willing" to surrender under observation for 36 months in the transit camp giving them adequate security while keeping a strict watch on them.