Tricolour in hands that once wielded guns; surrendered Maoists enjoy Hockey World Cup

Bhubaneswar: The hands which once wielded guns today had the Indian flag and the excitement was clearly visible on the faces of surrendered naxals, who were invited to watch the on-going Hockey Men’s World Cup at Kalinga Stadium.

Several of these surrendered rebels once had a cash bounty on their head and now are trying to join the mainstream after bidding farewell to arms. In a bid to offer a helping hand to nearly 30 surrendered Maoist cadres from Koraput and Malkangiri, special arrangements were made by the administration for their visit to Bhubaneswar to witness the mega sporting event.

“I was a part of the Maoist organisation in the cut-off areas for three years and later left the camp,” said Ramesh Madkami, who was at Kalinga Stadium today.

Not only Kalinga Stadium, the surrendered rebels also visited Nandankanan, Puri and the Sun Temple in Konark today.

“Earlier our life was concentrated inside forests and today I got a scope to see several places in Bhubaneswar and it is a great feeling. I urge others to return to the mainstream,” said Rawa Madkami.

The former Maoist cadres and leaders were brought to Bhubaneswar under the supervision of Malkangiri SP, Jagmohan Meena after they expressed their willingness to watch the matches of the Hockey World Cup at Kalinga Stadium.

“We have brought 10 former rebels from Koraput and 20 from Malkangiri to Bhubaneswar and they will also visit other tourist destinations across the State,” said Meena.