13 Maoists surrender in Chhattisgarh under Lon Varratu campaign
- A state official claimed that the 'Lon Varratu' initiative aims to link surrendered cadres to some livelihood opportunities to help them earn a decent living and it has yielded very positive results.
Thirteen suspected Maoists, including three with cash reward of ₹1 lakh each on their heads, surrendered in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district in Bastar region under the state government’s ‘Lon Varratu’ initiative, taking the total number of surrendered Maoists since the beginning of the programme in June 2020 to 310, police said on Thursday.
The Maoists laid down their arms claiming they were disappointed with the ultras' 'hollow' ideology, police claimed.
‘Lon Varratu’ in local Gondi language means Return Home. Maoists in about 50 hypersensitive villages are being encouraged to surrender under this programme. “The focus of Lon Varratu is to link surrendered cadres to some livelihood opportunities to help them earn a decent living and it has yielded very positive results. The district administration has provided them with tractors, agricultural equipment, construction work, benefits from veterinary and allied departments,” said a senior state official, who didn't wish to be named.
Superintendent of Police, Dantewada, Abhishek Pallav three of the surrendered Maoists--Lakhma Midiyami, a Janmilitia commander, Bheema alias Kamlu Karma, president of the Maoist DKAMS (Dandakaranya Kisan Adivasi Mazdur Sangh) and Jogi Midiyami-- had rewards on their heads.
Dantewada police claimed that one Mangal Ram Sodhi, who was allegedly involved in an attack on the house of Congress leader Awdhesh Gautam also surrendered on Wednesday.
However, tribal leaders have questioned the ‘Lon Varratu’ campaign in the past and claimed.
“Who has given rights to the police to declare a person as a Maoist? Have they submitted the list of Maoists to a court? Farmers in their village are declared as Maoist under this campaign,” Sori had earlier said about the campaign.