In a boost to security operations, ten Maoists surrendered in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar district on Monday. Bastar is a hotbed of Maoist rebels and security forces have mounted major operations against them throughout the years. Bastar Collector Amit Kataria and Superintendent of Police (SP) Rajendra Narayan Das awarded cheques to each surrendered Maoist. They assured them all necessary help for rehabilitation. “Those who have surrendered will be given INR 10, 000 (US $148) as per government’s rehabilitation policy,” said Kataria. According to police, about 350 Maoists from Bastar have surrendered since the launch of Mission 2016, a state-sponsored programme to end Maoism. The Maoists, also referred to as Naxals in India, are inspired by the political philosophy of China’s late Chairman Mao Zedong. They say they are fighting for the rights of poor farmers and landless labourers. The rebels have operated for decades across a wide swath of central and eastern India and have grown in strength during recent times in areas where poor, tribal villagers came into conflict with mining companies seeking resources for industrialisation. They have killed police and politicians and targeted government buildings and railway tracks in an insurgency that has killed thousands since the 1960s.
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