Five hardcore Maoists, including a dreaded Maoist couple involved in about 150 cases and carrying a reward of Rs 9 lakh on their head, surrendered before the police in Odisha’s Malkangiri district on Thursday.
The five ultras have said they decided to surrender in order to return to the social mainstream as they realised that Maoists were unleashing terror on tribals and poor people, said Deputy Inspector General of Police S Saini.
The five who surrendered before the DIG were Sukhdev and his wife Rukmini (both active in Malkangiri and Baipariguda divisions of the Maoists in Odisha) and Raju Sodhi, Deba Beti and Laxman Madkami (active in Darabha division in Chhattisgarh), the police said.
Sukhdev and his wife Rukmini were active for over a decade and decided to give up arms after they realised that the Maoists were harassing tribals and poor people, said Malkangiri Superintendent of Police Mitrabhanu Mohapatra.
Around 150 cases involving that of murder, landmine blasts, abduction and attack on the police were pending against the couple in different police stations, police said.
While the state government had announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh on the head of Sukhdev, Rukmini was carrying a reward of Rs 4 lakh, Mohapatra said.
Sukhdev, an active Maoist for 15 years, functioned as the commander of Malkangiri division, while Rukmini was engaged in Maoist activities for 12 years and said to be the woman commander of Baipariguda Maoist division, police said.
Similarly, Raju, Deba Beti and Laxman were involved in a number of crimes like landmine blasts and attack on police in Sukma and other areas of Chhattisgarh, they said.
The rebels told the police that they were fed up with Maoist activities after realising that tribals and poor people were being harassed and exploited by the Maoists who, they said, have deviated from their ideology, the police said adding, they would be rehabilitated as per the state government’s policy on surrender of Maoists.