New Delhi: To motivate Naxals to join the mainstream, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha have decided to offer up to Rs 25 lakh for any top Maoist leader who comes forward to surrender and give up the path of violence.
The decision has been taken by the two state governments following a suggestion of the Home Ministry to announce lucrative cash offer for the Maoists who are keen to lay down arms and join the mainstream.
Andhra Pradesh will give Rs 25 lakh to any politburo or central committee member offering to quit the Naxal movement while Odisha will offer Rs 20 lakh to a few top leaders operating in the state.
The cash will be given even if the Maoists come forward without any arms, a government official said.
The Home Ministry has been pressing for a new uniform surrender policy for all states that include offering Rs 5 lakh to anyone laying down a light machine gun and Rs 3 lakh to those depositing an AK-47 rifle.
The issue was discussed threadbare at a meeting of chief secretaries and directors general of police of Naxal-affected states chaired by Home Minister P Chidambaram here last month.
Currently state governments follow different surrender policies and packages that include financial incentives varying from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh for each arm surrendered, depending on its make.
The policy announced by the Home Ministry last year offers incentive of Rs 15,000 for each deposited AK 47/56/74 rifle, Rs 25,000 for each rocket propelled grenade/sniper rifle and Rs 3,000 for each pistol or revolver.