Vijayawada: Six key members of the outlawed CPI (Maoist) group, including a divisional commander and four women Maoists, surrendered to Andhra Pradesh police on Thursday. The police claimed that it was a major jolt to the Maoists. Lack of public support and discrimination by the top guns against the low cadre of the outfit was one of the major reasons for the surrender of the outlaws. The scenario has changed in the Andhra-Odisha Border (AOB) and in the cut-off area, resulting in the shrinking of Maoists' movements and their influence on the public.

DGP of Andhra Pradesh Damodhar Gowtham Sawang said that the divisional commander, Chikkudu Chinna Rao alias Sudheer, carried a reward of Rs 5 lakh for his arrest and the surrendered two area committee members (ACM) Vanthala Vannu alias Mahita and Madakam Somidi carried Rs 4 lakh each. Three others carried a reward of Rs 1 lakh each, he added.

The DGP said that four of the six surrendered Maoists hailed from Chhattisgarh. The Visakha-East Divisional Commander Sudheer, who remained underground for more than a decade was involved in over 90 offenses, including 14 murders and 11 exchanges of fire. Sudheer hailed from Vizag Agency and was once arrested in 2008 and released from jail the next year.

The police said that Mahita has been involved in over 10 offenses, including two murders and four exchanges of fire. She has involved in the murder of then Araku MLA Kidari Sarveswara Rao and former MLA Siveri Soma in 2017 at Livitiput under Dumbriguda Mandal in Vizag Agency.

Somidi worked in the personal protection team of Maoist top leader Akkiraju Harigopal alias RK. Somidi's husband Ranadev, a division committee member, was killed in an exchange of fire with the police a few years ago.

The DGP claimed that the red rebels have been facing difficulty in reviving the movement due to lack of recruitment from local tribals, who had lost faith in the Maoists. The DGP said there has been a significant decline in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) in Andhra Pradesh.

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