News Maoist top gun lays down arms

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SOURCE: The Telegraph

CPI(Maoist) zonal commander of Koyal Sankh zone Prakash Oraon (39), who carried Rs 10 lakh bounty on his head, surrendered before security forces here on Saturday.

Oraon was a close associate of CPI (Maoist) politburo and central military commission member Arvind Singh. Wanted by police in at least as 10 cases, Oraon surrendered before DIG of South Chhotanagpur range Amol Benukant Homkar, CRPF DIG Manish Kumar Sachar and Lohardaga SP Rajkumar Lakra.

Soon after his surrender, he was sent to Lohardaga jail. Oraon is likely to be shifted to Hazaribagh Open Jail meant for surrendered rebels.

He surrendered under Operation Nayi Disha, the surrender and rehabilitation of policy for rebels, under which he was given a cheque of Rs 10 lakh.

In addition, he received Rs 50,000 cash, a component of the rehabilitation package worth Rs 2.50 lakh. The remaining amount will be given to him in a phased manner.

His decision to lay down arms has come as yet another blow to the Maoists in the state.

In the last one year, 22 top Naxal operatives from Lohardaga including Nakul Yadav, Madan Yadav and others surrendered before the police.

“I joined the CPI (Maoist) two decades ago. But I did not participate in any of the operations. Ideological decline of the the outfit and double standards of top leaders of the organisation disillusioned me. I was desperate to join the main stream of society,” Oraon said.

Lohardaga SP, who also hails from the same district, played a key role in his surrender.

“I asked his relatives and friends to convince Oraon to surrender and lead a peaceful life. He was told about all the Maoists who surrendered and how the government was looking after their welfare,” Lakra said.

Under the rehabilitation package, he will be given four decimals of land for construction of a house.

“Besides, he will be given vocational training to earn his livelihood. For such rebels who opt to surrender, a fixed amount is given as stipend,” the SP said.

A native of Toto village under Bhandra police station of Lohardaga, his father Lau Oraon was a CPRF jawan. After retirement, his father became bed-ridden because of paralysis and his mother also died soon.

He somehow passed Class X finals and unsuccessfully made several attempts to join the paramilitary force.

Around 1996-97, members of the banned Maoist Communist Centre started making its base in his village.

In 1999, he was elevated as the area commander of MCC. In 2000, he was incorporated in the armed squad of Nakul Yadav.

In 2002 he was appointed as sub-zonal commander. In the same year, he married Maoist cadre Dhiraj Vyas.

For around six months in 2005, he disassociated himself from Left-wing extremism, but soon joined the outfit.

In 2006, he was arrested by Ranchi police. After his release from jail in 2013, he again joined the rebel outfit.

“All surrendered rebels claim innocence. So there is nothing unusual if Oraon is denying his involvement in all the Maoist activities. He was one the key strategists of the outfit,” said a senior police official engaged in anti-naxal operations.

Two years ago, he had gunned down a local quack under Serendag police station area suspecting him to be a police informer.
 
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