The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Naxalites on surrender route

Belpahari (West Midnapore), Oct. 1: Barely a month after 14 People’s War and Maoist Communist Centre activists surrendered before the district police, a fresh batch of Naxalites are planning to turn themselves over after the Pujas.

Sources in the intelligence branch expect this trend to continue in phases as the Naxalites, fed up with running from the law, have decided to return to the mainstream once the cases against them are disposed of.

“First, we want to know whether the police will keep their word that they will not implicate us in false cases. It seems that they want us to rot in jail by charging us in numerous cases,” said a local Naxalite leader on condition of anonymity.

He added that their rivals, the CPM and the Jharkhand Party (Naren) supporters, were also armed and, therefore, the decision to surrender in phases was taken to ensure that the rebels were not attacked. “If we all turn ourselves in, these two parties will most certainly unleash a reign of terror on those who had supported us,” he pointed out.

Moreover, sections in both the Naxalite outfits are still opposed to surrender. “We have to convince these people that even if they do not surrender, we will not inform the police about their activities and areas of operation,” the leader said.

District police superintendent K.C. Meena said police were trying to convince the Naxalites to return to the mainstream. “Till they actually surrender, it is difficult for me to comment on the issue,” Meena said.

The first batch of 14 Naxalites, including leaders Dhiren Singh Sardar and Manoj Kalindi, had turned themselves over on September 10. People mulling surrender now are eager to verify the police action against them.

“We had initially planned to surrender on October 26 before health minister Surjya Kanta Mishra, but we rejected it and we are now scrutinising the police cases against the 14,” the leader said.

Police sources said cases pertaining to the murders of CPM leaders Sibram Satpathi and Ramapada Majhi in Bankura, Sudhir Singh Sardar in Belpahari, and the killing of the Jharkhand Party’s Anil Mahato have been started against the 14.

Meena said the cases would go on even if the other Naxalites surrender. But if they want, the police would arrange for bank loans so that they can set up small businesses and get back to the mainstream.

A Naxalite leader opposed to surrender said the ultra-Left movement will continue in this most-neglected portion of the district. “Those who think they will live in peace once they surrender will have to return to our fold when they are denied justice. Justice is for the rich and the influential, not for poor landless farm labourers,” he said.

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