A senior Maoist leader, Pahad Singh, who was carrying a bounty of Rs 25 lakh, surrendered before Durg police in Chhattisgarh on Thursday. Singh was a member of the newly-formed Special Zonal Maharashtra-Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh Committee (SZMMC) since it was formed. Senior police officials believe that Singh’s surrender is one of the most important ones in the past few years.“Pahad Singh is resident of Rajanandgaon and joined the party in the late 90s after he met some Maoists in the jungles of Rajanandgaon. He was a crucial man in the SZMMC and was given various roles in the party,” said Inspector general of police (IGP), Durg, GP Singh.The IG further said that Singh was disillusioned with the Maoist ideology, which was one of the important causes of surrender.“Pahad Singh told us that he was fed up with discrimination in his party between cadres of Andhra Pradesh and local ones. The local cadres were also seen as outsiders and are always under suspicion for AP and Maharashtra cadres,” the IG added. Notably, intelligence reports suggest that Maoists are expanding in MMC (Maharashtra-Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh) consisting of areas of Balaghat, Gondia, Rajnandgaon, Mungeli and Kawardha districts, and in the recent past, Maoists from Bastar were pushed in this new zone.“Pahad Singh’s surrender is one of the most important surrenders in the recent past. We have been working on this newly formed zone of Maoists for the last couple of years. Many Maoists have been arrested and many neutralised. Due to immense pressure of security forces, more surrenders will take place in the next few months,” said special director general of police ( Naxal operations) DM Awasthi.