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Surrender or face death: Poster with dead Maoist leaders image put up in Bastar, Chhattishgarh

Bastar district police in Jagdalpur, south Chhattisgarh, on Wednesday released a poster with an image of a dead Maoist leader, warning the rebels to either surrender or face death. The poster carried the picture of Vilas alias Aietu’s body, secretary of Barsur Area Committee,.

The released banner, with names of Maoist leaders who are active in the region carries an implicit message to the ultras to surrender and evade death or meet the same fate as Vilas.

The police claimed that the initiative is aimed to seek people's cooperation besides infusing terror among the naxalites. "We have fixed the posters in tribal hamlets and villages where Maoists are believed to have strong movements. The endeavour will alleviate the fear of Maoists among the masses and might also persuade the rebels to surrender. Vilas used to terrorise the innocent tribals, so we carried his image taken from the encounter site", the Bastar SP Arif Sheikh told the New Indian Express.

In an attempt to seek the people's support, police offered an award of Rs 10 lakh for anyone with clues or information about Maoist leaders to the police, and assisting the forces in their arrest.

The poster referred to Vilas as chawal chor (rice thief) who reportedly harassed the villagers for rations.

Following a couple of deadly attacks in recent months by the Red brigade at strife-torn Sukma that killed 37 CRPF personnel, the security forces in a renewed tactic have launched aggressive operations against the left-wing extremists across conflict-ridden Bastar.

Chief Minister Raman Singh had declared that the final war against the Maoists has begun. Jagdalpur, where the police have released the posters, is among the seven worst Maoist-affected districts in the virtual war zone of Bastar.

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