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18 Maoists surrender in Dantewada

The outlawed Maoist movement in Bastar region continues to lose its strength as 18 more ultras, including the hardcore cadre involved in last year's ghastly Jiram Valley attack on Congress leaders, surrendered in Dantewada district on Monday.

With this, the total number of rebels laying down their arms reached to around 330 so far this year in the state.

"As many as eighteen ultras, most of them carrying cash rewards on their heads, turned themselves in before senior police and CRPF official in Dantewada," Inspector General of Police, Bastar Range, SRP Kalluri told PTI.

Of the surrendered, Lakhma Vetti (28) was the most dreaded, who was working as Katekalyan LOS (local operation squad) member.

He was involved in naxal attack on Congress' Parivartan rally convoy on Jiram valley in Bastar's Darbha region on May 25, 2013, in which a total of 31 people, including PCC chief Nandkumar Patel, his son Dinesh, former Union Minister Vidayacharan Shukla, former leader of opposition Mahendra Karma, and ex-MLA Uday Mudliyar were killed and several others were injured, the IG said.

Besides, he was also involved in several other naxal incidents, including loot, arson, attacks on the police party, murder and others, the IG said, adding that he was carrying a reward of Rs 1 lakh on his head.

The chief of the Dandakaranya Adivasi Kisan Majdoor Sangthan (DAKMS) of Barsoor Area Committee of Maoists, Itwari Mandavi (27) and Janmiltia Commander in the same region, Jaidev Mandavi (28), carrying reward of Rs 1 lakh each on their heads, were other important rebels who surrendered, he said.

Others were identified as Madkami Kala, Shyamlal, Beti Barsa, Kattam Chaitu, Kawasi Lakhma, Betti Masa, Madda Muchaki, Basant Kartam, Dinesh Podiyami, Antu Mandavi, Shaymlal Markam, Laxman Barsa, Budhram Kadti, Hunga Barse, Pisa Kadti. All of them were aged between 19 and 42 and were deployed as members of DAKMS in the region, he said.

The rebels cited disappointment with the movement, exploitation of lower rank rebels and women by Naxal leaders as the reasons for their surrender, he said.

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