Kolkata: A pro-Maoist leader allegedly involved in the Gyaneshwari Express train sabotage has surrendered in a court in West Midnapore`s Jhargram, police said Tuesday describing it as a major achievement.
Jiten Giri, a leader of the People`s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA), was sent to 14 days judicial custody after he surrendered.
He was allegedly involved in 10 cases including the May 28 Gyaneshwari Express sabotage, which led to the deaths of 148 people.
"Jiten Giri gave himself up Monday at the Jhargram court. He has been sent to 14 days judicial custody," Jhargram Police district Superintendent Praveen Tripathi told IANS over phone.
Giri, 48, has been in the forefront of the PCAPA`s Muraboni unit in Jhargram sub-division for the past three years.
He is suspected to be involved in sabotage of the train tracks leading to the Gyaneshwari Express accident, said Additional Police Superintendent (Operations) Mukesh Kumar.
Giri`s surrender is a major boost to security forces battling Maoists in West Bengal.
"Giri is wanted in ten cases including two murders, three cases of sedition and three incidents of looting," said Tripathi.
"Giri`s surrender is a great achievement for us. This is the first instance of a pro-Maoist giving himself up to the authorities as he wanted to return to the mainstream," said Mukesh Kumar.
According to Kumar, the situation in Lalgarh has changed a lot in the past few months. "The people have realised that nothing good will take place in their areas or lives if they support the Maoists and prevent the district administration from functioning smoothly."
The resistance put up by villagers against the PCAPA members and Maoists cadre, and the death of Sidhu Soren, supreme commandant of PCAPA`s militant wing, in a shootout Monday has unnerved many of the group`s leaders. "Most of the PCAPA members and supporters are now thinking of surrendering," said Kumar.
"We are getting feedback from other PCAPA leaders who are said to be ready to surrender," said Tripathi.
"The government is working on it and expect the policy will be implemented within a week," said Tripathi.