Highest reward money to nab Maoist leaders

Bhubaneswar: A day after enhancing the surrender package for the red rebels, state government on Friday decided to offer big cash prize for arrest of frontline Maoist leaders, official sources said.

The state government`s action to raise the reward money to catch the Maoists, particularly their leaders, was taken as per suggestion of the Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, sources said.

The reward amount which was upto Rs 3 lakhs in the state, would now be increased upto Rs 20 lakh. "The cash prize will be given to person/s whose information leads to arrest of Maoist leaders," a senior official at the home department said adding that a formal notification would be issued soon.

The arrest of three top guerrilla, identified as Sabyasachi Panda of Odisha, Ramakrishna and Modem Balakrishnan of neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, would fetch Rs 20 lakh, officials said.

These three leaders were behind all the major naxal violence in the state, police sources said.

Panda is the secretary of Odisha state organising committee (OSOC) of the outlawed CPI (Maoist) while Ramakrishna is the member of central committee of Maoists and secretary of the Andhra-Odisha border special zonal committee (AOBSZC). .

"This is the highest reward money given by any state in the country for nabbing top ultras," the official said.

While Andhra Pradesh has provision of rewarding Rs 12 lakh for enabling arrest of top Maoist leaders, the maximum amount announced by Chhatishgarh is Rs 7 lakh.

The state police has already identified at least 28 hardcore Maoists whose arrest would fetch reward. While Rs 20 lakh would be given for the arrest of the three top leaders, arrest of 25 others could fetch Rs 3 lakh to Rs 12 lakh, officials said.

The amount fixed by the state government towards reward money was Rs 12 lakh for central committee members, Rs 10 lakh for state committee members, Rs 5 lakh for district committee members Rs 5 lakh and Rs 3 lakh for divisional committee members.