Malkangiri: Continuing with the trend, 281 Maoists and their supporters laid down their arms before the superintendent of the police here and took a pledge to join the mainstream of society to contribute to development.
All members of the left-wing extremists (LWEs) including 69 women and 70 children belong to Bara and Sanagumma villages under Mathili police limits. The ultras include 18 hardcore militants, five village committee members and four of the outfit’s awareness wing.
SP Mitrabhanu Mohapatra said he will take measures to rehabilitate the ultras as per the government package.
Senior police officials, who were present with SP Mitrabhanu Mohapatra, said they would work to ensure that all welfare schemes of the government reach the inaccessible tribal pockets to strengthen the socio-economic status of the region.
They distributed blankets, sarees and study and sports materials to the surrendered ultras, who said they became involved with the rebel outfit out of coercion. They said they were initially inspired by their ideologies but soon became disillusioned and decided to return to the mainstream to lead a normal life. They also expressed their desire to assist the government in implementation of welfare projects in the backward region.
Police sources said with this, around 600 Maoist sympathisers from various villages under Mathili police limits have surrendered before the police in the last one month. Another 276 Maoist sympathisers from other areas in Malkangiri district had also laid down their arms before the police in this period.
Notably, 101 ultras and their sympathisers including 30 women and 10 minors belonging to Kukurkund and Luler villages under Mathili police station had promised to shun violence before the police Saturday. PNN