RAIPUR: Twelve Naxals, five of them collectively carrying a reward of Rs 6 lakh on their heads, surrendered in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district on Sunday, police said.
The cadres turned themselves in before police and the CRPF officials in Dantewada town saying that they were impressed by the rehabilitation campaign being run by the local police and disappointed with the hollow Maoist ideology, Dantewada Superintendent of Police Abhishek Pallava told PTI.
Dantewada MLA Devti Karma was also present on the occasion, he said.
Of these ultras, Chanduram Sethiya, who was active as a member of platoon no.26 of Maoists, was allegedly involved in three Naxal attacks, including in Bhusaras-Chingavarm in 2008, wherein 23 policemen and two civilians were killed, he said.
Sethiya was carrying a reward of Rs 2 lakh on his head, Pallava said.
Four other surrendered ultras- Lakhmu Hemla, Sunil Tati, Manu Mandavi and Maituram Barsa- who were working in different capacities in separate areas of south Bastar, were carrying rewards of Rs 1 lakh each on their heads, he said.
The remaining seven naxals were active as lower-rung Maoist members, he said.
From them, one Amit Kawasi was allegedly involved in the October 2018 Nilawaya attack, in which three policemen and a Doordarshan cameraman were killed in Dantewada, he said.
"All 12 ultras said in their statement that they were disappointed with the hollow Maoist ideology, and were impressed by the 'Lon Varratu' (term coined in local Gondi dialect which means 'return to your village') campaign being run by the police in Dantewada," Pallava said.
According to the officer, they will be provided facilities as per the government's surrender and rehabilitation policy, he said.
Under the 'Lon Varratu' initiative launched in June, the police have been putting up posters and banners in the native villages of Naxals, who carry cash rewards on their head.
The posters mention the names of rebels and appeal to them to join the mainstream, the police official said.
"So far, 82 Naxals, including these 12, have surrendered under the drive," he added.