naxalite: red surrenders rise as cadres resent 'good lives' of seniors

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Cadre believes the senior Maoist leadership has become money-minded and does not care much about the cause: CRPF assessment report. Over 359 Maoists have surrendered this year, with 217 of them doing so in worst-affected Chhattisgarh

NEW DELHI: Resentment against the CPI (Maoist) leadership is growing among its lower and middle level cadres, the CRPF has concluded after carrying out an assessment of the Naxalite outfit based on interrogation of several arrested members and literature recovered from their hideouts.

The cadres believe the senior Maoist leadership has become money-minded and don't care much about the cause, the Central Reserve Police Force said. Seniors remained in command in different states and there were hardly any young leaders, the force added.

"The young leaders are not keen to work in difficult areas. The senior leadership doesn't listen to them even as they enjoy a good life. Due to this, many middle level and even senior cadres are surrendering as they are unhappy with the leadership," the CRPF assessment report said.

Over 359 Maoists have surrendered this year, with 217 doing so in worst-affected Chhattisgarh alone.

The tribals, the CRPF found, refused to join the Naxals as they saw better opportunities in government jobs and education. The Maoists' strength was depleting every week due to coordinated operations and refusal of youngsters to join them, a CRPF officer said.

There is also massive "shortage of ammunition" for People's Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA), the armed wing of the party, but "the senior leadership is not doing anything about it", the CRPF's analysis said.

For many Maoist leaders leaving the organisation, "development is the only route for welfare of tribals, farmers and unemployed youth in these areas".

In fact, top Maoist leaders like Jampanna and Pahad Singh, who were associated with the movement for over two decades before their recent surrender out of "disappointment", have claimed that "there is a generation gap in the thinking of those leading the CPI (Maoist) - the central committee members - and the middle level cadres".

Pahad Singh, whose interrogation details were accessed by TOI, claimed that he didn't trust the movement any more and Maoists were not doing anything for tribals. "Maoists ki kathni aur karni ko ujagar karna chahiye (there is a need to expose what Maoists preach and practise)," Singh said.

Singh told investigation agencies that "police should work towards the pride of tribals and educate them through 'nukkad nataks'.

"To bring them to the mainstream, employ tribals in the forest department and other government jobs so that they don't get lured by Maoists," Singh, who was secretary of Special Zonal Maharashtra-Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh Committee (SZMMC) of the Maoists for several years, said.

Singh also said the Maoists were trying to train cadres in air defence, hiding from surveillance UAVs in the jungle and repairing arms.

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