3 Naxals, including one wanted for killing cops, surrender in Chhattisgarh

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Raipur, Jul 4 (PTI) Three Naxals, one of them allegedly involved in a blast at Dantewada in 2015 wherein five policemen were killed, surrendered in two districts of Chhattisgarh's Bastar division on Sunday, police said.

While two cadres, Bhima Mandavi (41) and Joga Mandavi (31), surrendered in Dantewada district, another rebel, identified as Punem Rajesh (21), turned himself in before police in Bastar district, they said.

Joga Mandavi was allegedly involved in blowing up an anti-landmine vehicle with an improvised explosive device (IED) in Cholnar area of Dantewada in 2015 in which five police jawans were killed and eight others injured, Dantewada Superintendent of Police Abhishek Pallava said.

Bhima Mandavi was allegedly among the ultras who had threatened families of police personnel in Gumiyapal village and looted livestock, grains and other items from their houses last year, the official said.

Both were active as militia members in the outlawed CPI (Maoist), he said.

According to the official, both the cadres claimed they were impressed by the police's rehabilitation drive 'Lon Varratu' and disappointed with the “hollow” Maoist ideology, which prompted them to join the mainstream.

With this surrender, 381 Naxals, 100 of them carrying cash rewards on their heads, have so far quit the violence in Dantewada under the 'Lon Varratu' (term coined in local Gondi dialect for return to your home/village) campaign, launched in June last year, he said.

Under the initiative, the Dantewada police have put posters and banners in native villages of at least 1,600 Naxals, mostly carrying cash rewards, and appealed to them to return to the mainstream.

Meanwhile, another police official said Rajesh, who surrendered in Jagdalpur (headquarters of Bastar district), had joined the banned outfit in 2019 and was active as member of the Kangervalley area committee. He was the gunman of the outfit's secretary.

The cadres who have laid down their arms will be provided facilities as per the state government's surrender and rehabilitation policy, officials said. PTI TKP GK GK

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