* 469 Maoists and their sympathizers have surrendered since the demonetisation announcement
* Maoists’ ability to procure firearms, ammunition, medicines, commodities of daily use and pay cash to cadres badly hit
* Developmental policies in affected areas also serving as an incentive to surrender
Government policies in left-wing extremism affected states, pressure built up by security forces for past few months and the latest demonetisation decision seem to be making a strong impact in the region, with 564 Maoists and their sympathizers surrendering before the authorities in the last 28 days, the highest number to do so in a month ever.
While regular crackdowns by the CRPF and local police forces of Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh have been a contributing factor, the demonetisation of old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes has also played a substantial part in the development . Out of 564, officials say that 469 Maoists and their sympathisers have surrendered before the authorities since November 8 alone. More than 70% of the surrenders have happened in Malkangiri district in Odisha, where Andhra Pradesh Greyhounds killed 23 Maoists in an encounter last month.
Officials say that if the statistics of surrenders are compared with the previous months and years, such large number of Maoists and their supporters have not given up arms ever in such a short period. Since 2011, till November 15 this year, the total number of Maoist surrenders stand at 3,766, according to the home ministry data. In 2016 alone, 1,399 Maoists have surrendered, highest in the last six years.
The CRPF officials say that several factors have contributed to the large scale surrenders, including government increasing development activities in the left wing extremism-affected districts and clear message to Maoists and their sympathizers. The latest demonetisation move has thwarted the Maoists as they are not able to launder the old currency stashes to their suppliers with ease, hitting their capacity to procure firearms, ammunition, medicines, commodities of daily use and pay cash to cadres, say officials in local police and CRPF.
Home minister Rajnath Singh also hinted on Friday that Maoists are making desperate attempts to survive after the demonetisation. “They are trying to exchange their old notes through local contractors, businessmen and sympathisers,” Singh had said in DGs/IGs conference last week.
A large number of sympathisers believe that the ideology is not bringing them any benefits, said officials. Director general of CRPF K Durga Prasad told TOI, ” Maoists are disturbed. There is no doubt about it that they are running from pillar to post.”
Courtesy: Times of India