Existing surrender policy unimpressive: Jharkhand DGP

The Jharkhand Police have sought the introduction of a new policy relating to surrendered Maoists and ultras of other splinter groups.

Ranchi: The Jharkhand Police have sought the introduction of a new policy relating to surrendered Maoists and ultras of other splinter groups as the current policy has failed to address certain vital issues.

"There is a re-thinking how to make the policy more attractive and the Special Branch is on the job. We have submitted certain proposals, which I can`t open now as they are yet to be adopted, and being examined at the highest level," Jharkhand Police chief GS Rath, who retires from the police services today, said here.

He said the existing surrender policy has failed to address some vital issues like open jail concept giving the surrendered extremists to stay fearlessly with their families, their speedy trial and imparting vocational training to make them self-sustenance.

"Provision for giving land to a surrendered extremist is as per the existing policy is very difficult. Those extremists surrendering and their families residing somewhere else could become sitting ducks for their former colleagues," he said, adding, now the surrendered ultras were being given monetary benefits as underlined in the policy.

Asked whether the police utilised surrendered Maoists as informers in combating active Maoists, "No, we can`t reply in that way. I can`t answer you direct so far this question is concerned. We do have our own system of cultivating our resources".

On allegations that the police were pitting splinter groups against the Maoists, Rath cited an adage that a needle required to extract a thorn was not true in this case. Though the intensity of Maoist violence has definitely come down, the police chief said Naxalite problem continued to be a threat for peace and tranquillity of Jharkhand.

"If you look at the Naxal scenario, Maoist violence has come down for the first time below 50 percent while the rest of the violence is by the splinter groups," he said expressing concern at the growing threat of the People`s Liberation Front of India, a splinter group of the CPI (Maoist).

"While the Maoist activities have gone down, the PLFI activities have gone up, particularly in Gumla, Simdega, Khunti and Ranchi rural. It is a matter of concern," he said.

Delving on how the police managed to reduce Maoist violence below the 50 per cent mark compared to earlier times in the state`s 12-year existence, Rath said the police changed its tactics.

"Previously, when we had gone to Saranda forest or any other (Maoist-affected) areas, we use to return after staying for a day or two, and we were not in the process of dominating those areas; rather we were unable to dominate those areas".

He said, "But in the last two years we took a decision to enter deeper into Maoist areas, stay there till we consolidated in the particular area. This tactics has led to setting up seven/eight camps in the Saranda forests in West Singhbhum district".

He lauded paramilitary forces, Jharkhand Jaguar and the aerial support in combating the CPI (Maoist) in their one time bastions in Latehar, Palamau, Garhwa, Gumla.

"Their support base has been eroded and they cannot dictate terms as they used to do earlier. But the CPI (Maoist) has all the lethalness even now in these districts," Rath said indicating the sustained anti-Naxal operation should continue to root it out.