52 lakh cash prize for info on 20 Maoists

12 of them belong to Chikmagalur while 1 each belongs to DK, Udupi district

In a final move to track down Maoists, the State government has announced a total reward of Rs 52 lakh for those who inform about 20 Maoists operating across the state, as the government failed to lure the Maoists to shed weapons and accept the surrender packages announced earlier.

The government, which offered surrender packages in various capacities earlier, was unsuccessful in bringing back the Maoists into the mainstream. The new strategy adopted by the State government announces the reward of Rs 5 lakh, Rs 3 lakh and Rs 1 lakh on all the 20 Maoists depending on the intensity of their involvement in crime. The informer will get Rs 5 lakh if he/she offers information about the whereabouts of seven top Maoists in the most wanted list. Seven Maoists are, B G Krishnamurthy (Chikmagalur), Vikram Gowda (Udupi), Kanyakumari alias Suvarna (Chikmagalur), Neelguli Padhbhanabha (Chikmagalur), Hosagadde Prabha (Shimoga), Latha alias Lokamma (Chikmagalur) and A S Suresh (Chikmagalur).

Rs 3 lakh has been announced over the heads of Ramesh alias Rafee and Veermani alias Sunil from Bangalore. The informers of the remaining 11 Maoists will be rewarded with a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh each. The 11 Maoists are: M Vanajakshi (Chikmagalur), Sirimane Nagaraj (Chikmagalur), Ravindra (Chikmagalur), Srimathi (Chikmagalur), C M Noor Julfikar (Chitradurga), John alias Jayanna (Chikmagalur), Sundari alias Geetha (Dakshina Kannada), Kalpana alias Rizwan Begum (Raichur), Savithri alias Usha (Chikmagalur), Bharathi alias Deepa (Chikmagalur) and Manoj (Chattisgarh). Majority of the Maoists in the announced list belong to Chikmagalur district. Almost all are involved in at least five cases of violence and murder, it is said.

Officers hopeful

Chikmagalur Superintendent of Police Ravi Kumar Naik told Deccan Herald that the government’s decision to announce the prize amount over the heads of the Maoists would absolutely prove beneficial in the direction of nabbing the Maoists. However, the usefulness of the announcement can  be expected only in due course of time, as the department in the district has not received any messages from the informers so far. “But, we are hopeful that we can mitigate the problem and spread peace across the Maoist prone areas,” he said.

Udupi SP Dr Boralingaiah M B said, “no one till date has surrendered nor we have received any information over the location of the Maoists. The degree of punishment will be decided based on the amount of their involvement in the crime”. Whereas, Shimoga SP Kaushalendra Kumar termed the government decision as a positive development and will end up ultimately in bringing a positive impact. “We are working on it and certainly we are confident that we will get some constructive clues,” he added. Hassan SP Ravi D C said that the new move by the government will workout and will help the police to reach out to Maoists locations. ANF DIG Seemanth Kumar Singh declined to assess the possible impact of the new proposal.

It can not be ascertained as to what extent the government will succeed in its attempts to bring back the Maoists to the mainstream, as the Maoists who wished to surrender earlier, put forth their demand to drop all the cases against pending before the courts. According to police sources, Maoists are still active and are operating in some of the areas in the State as their movements were recently traced out in Kodagu.

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