The demonetisation decision of PM Narendra Modi has made 564 Maoists and their sympathizers surrender before the authorities in the last 28 days. This is the highest number to do so in a month ever, says a TOI report. This can also be attributed to government policies in left-wing extremism affected states and pressure built up by security forces. Out of 564, officials say that 469 Maoists and their sympathisers have surrendered before the authorities since November 8 alone. More than 70% of the surrenders have happened in Malkangiri district in Odisha, where Andhra Pradesh Greyhounds killed 23 Maoists in an encounter last month.
Regular crackdowns by the CRPF and local police forces of Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh is one reason, the demonetisation of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes is another reason for Maoists surrendering. Officials told TOI that if the statistics of surrenders are compared with the previous months and years, such large number of Maoists and their supporters have not given up arms ever in such a short period. Since 2011, till November 15 this year, the total number of Maoist surrenders+ stand at 3,766, according to the home ministry data. In 2016 alone, 1,399 Maoists have surrendered, highest in the last six years.
The CRPF officials told TOI that the latest demonetisation move has thwarted the Maoists as they are not able to launder the old currency stashes to their suppliers with ease, hitting their capacity to procure firearms, ammunition, medicines, commodities of daily use and pay cash to cadres, say officials in local police and CRPF. A large number of sympathisers believe that the ideology is not bringing them any benefits, said officials. Director general of CRPF K Durga Prasad told TOI, “Maoists are disturbed. There is no doubt about it that they are running from pillar to post.”