HYDERABAD: The sounding of the poll bugle has allegedly been causing surrendered Maoist party leaders and cadre, who have reportedly been leading normal lives, to be exposed to police harassment. Reportedly, in several instances, surrendered Maoists are known to have undergone brutality at the hands of police personnel in the rural areas in the name of bind overs.
For the past five years, at least 200 Maoists had surrendered before various police stations assuring authorities that they would lead a normal life. The list reads from central committee members of outlawed Maoist party to area committee members.
However, as election fever sets in, the lives of these groups take a miserable turn. For instance, a senior ex-leader of the Maoist party, who operated out of Bastar in Chattishgarh and surrendered before the police in 2008 after his wife suffered from a chronic disease, narrated his plight to Express.
“I primarily worked as a decision-maker in the party between 1984 to 2008 by holding various positions in Bastar, Chattishgarh. I never got myself involved in any untoward incidents while I was in the party. But whenever elections take place, police personnel, especially in the rural areas start harassing me and other surrendered Maoists on the pretext of bind overs. They forcibly take us to police stations where we are kept for several days,” said the surrendered Maoist, who has started a new career as a writer.
The police brutality resurfaced in the recently concluded Assembly elections as well. The writer said, “Out of the blue, a group of policemen came to my residence in Warangal and forced me to go along with them to the police station.” After making distress calls to the Special Intelligence Bureau (SIB), the policemen let him be, he added.
It may be noted that in rural areas, there have been instances wherein former Maoists have been elected as public representatives such as sarpanches, MPTC. Despite holding positions of power, the local police have gotten hold of former Maoists during elections seasons.