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Over 900 Maoist supporters surrender in Odisha

Malkangiri: Over 900 active militia who provide support to Maoists during operations against them and their sympathisers surrendered to Odisha Police and the BSF here on Tuesday, the police said.

A total 907 people, including 467 active militia men surrendered, Malkangiri superintendent of police Nitesh Wadhwani said.

These men hail from different villages bordering Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, which were once known as the stronghold of the red rebels.

The Maoist supporters used to assist in violent activities and were involved in killing of security forces and civilians, besides supplying all kinds of logistics to Maoists, he said.

The surrendered militia and supporters exhibited their opposition towards the Maoist ideology by burning uniforms and effigies during the programme held on the occasion. They also shouted anti-Maoist slogans before a large group of media persons who were present at the venue.

Wadhwani claimed that developmental initiatives of the Odisha government coupled with the strategic deployment of security forces inspired the villagers to join the mainstream. He said a series of developmental works like construction of new roads, bridges, medical facilities, installation of mobile towers, projects to supply drinking water and electricity to all houses in the area were executed so far.

These developmental works and presence of security force motivated the Maoist militia and sympathisers to join the mainstream, he said.

On June 12 this year about 50 active Maoist supporters had surrendered before the Odisha director general of police S K Bansal here.

Maoist supporters surrendered before the police on four other occasions too earlier, which have created a huge impact in the area and many others are considering ‘Ghar Wapsi’ (return to mainstream), the SP claimed.

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