Fence Eating the Crop ! NHRC Finds Fake ‘Naxalite-Surrenders’ in Jharkhand

“514 innocent tribal youths were made to surrender showing them as Naxalites in Jharkhand between 2012 to 1014”: Report of NHRC

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), after its recent visit to Jharkhand to verify the various complaints it received from individuals and groups, has come out with the startling finding that innocent tribal youths have been cheated by making them surrender as ‘naxalites’.

Image Courtesy: Times of India

The infamous ‘surrender policy’ of the government advocates that apart from a govt job, a surrendered Naxal is entitled to get an amount ranging from Rs.1.5 lakh to 2.5 lakh. For the tribal youth whose small pieces of agricultural land are being forcibly taken over by the government and corporate houses in the name of ‘development’ and with hardly any job opportunities in their rural set up, any possibility of getting some job assumes first priority. So when the police and their agents entice some of these innocent tribal youth with this false promise, they fall for it. This is nothing short of a crime committed by the government against the poorest of the poor.

Who are responsible for this cheating game? NHRC Report affirms that some senior Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officers conniving with some Jharkhand police officers have been organising these ‘fake surrenders’ to take advantage of the attractive ‘Naxalite Surrender’ policy. This opens up possibilities of getting awards and even getting promotions for playing out this fraud on the poor tribal youths.

Some middle men were also roped in who contacted the simple innocent tribals, lured them with promise of jobs and in return even took big sums of money from them. Many of the surrendered youths had sold off their personal belongings like motorcycles and land to arrange for the money to secure the promised job. This money was allegedly shared with CRPF and police officers. These tribal youths were then lodged in the old central jail of Ranchi who then discovered that there were many many more tribals like them were also cheated and trapped.
A senior Officer who discovered this anomaly wrote to the Director General of Police pointing out the seriousness of what was happening. But no action was taken until the NHRC brought to light this disgusting state of affairs.

Where did the arms come from? These 514 youths were picked up from different parts of Jharkhand in police vehicles and a ‘surrender show’ was arranged to show as though they had surrendered with arms. The intriguing question is where did these arms actually come from?

It is now common knowledge that the police always have some arms ready and make a show as though the surrendering ‘naxals’ are surrendering their arms (using in facts arms already available with the police).

It is even worse with regard to those ‘naxals’ who have been ‘arrested’. They are brought before the media persons, their heads are covered, the police officers sit in front of them and on a table placed before them are some weapons exhibited with the caption that these were recovered from the ‘captured naxals’.

Both the electronic and print media unquestioningly publicise this drama and the general public accepts the police version as the gospel truth. Studies on undertrial prisoners reveal that most of those arrested almost on a daily basis are innocent youth. But they are poor and therefore very vulnerable to this type of persecution.

No action taken despite the disclosure:  Even when an honest police officer found out the anomaly and made it known to a senior police officer, no action has been taken.

Call for justice
The CRPF and Police Officers who are guilty of this crime against the poorest of the poor must be brought to justice. The victims must be rehabilitated and adequately compensated. The following steps would need to be taken:

  • A judicial commission must be appointed to probe this crime. It certainly cannot be left to the local government or the police dept because they will whitewash the whole affair. After all, the fence will not eat the crop!
  • The police officers and their middle-men who had cheated the tribal youth must be identified and their names made public.
  • The cash that was collected from the tribal youth must be returned to them with interest. This amount may be taken from the personal savings/PF of these officers who are found guilty of committing this crime.
  • A just compensation to the tribal youth for the  economic, social hardship they have suffered because of this widespread cheating game must be offered. The amount shouldbe at least Rs. 5 lakhs.
  • The non-tribal police officers and their middle men must be prosecuted under The SC and The ST(Prevention Of Atrocities) Act, 1989,  and (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act 2015.
  • Clear safeguards must be provided to these tribal youth so they will not in any way be harassed in future.

The innocent tribal youth have suffered a serious injustice. Justice must be done to them. After all, justice is truth in action.


"Prima facie, the allegations were found to be true. The probe report has been sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs and also the state government. Further action would be taken following their comments," said HL Dattu, chairperson of the NHRC, speaking to the media.
The case, pertaining to stage-managing of fake ‘surrender’ of well over hundred ‘naxal-operatives’ in 2011-12, had come to light in 2014. An FIR was also registered in this regard in March 2014. The state government had later recommended CBI inquiry into the case. But nothing moved forward. The NHRC also took cognisance of the matter and got a probe done by its own division.

It is alleged that CRPF, state police and military intelligence officials had connived to boost the surrender figures by promising jobs to unsuspecting youths and making them pose as naxal-operatives.

The chairperson also said that the Commission has given the state CID three months to complete its investigation and submit a report before it in connection with the Palamu encounter in which 12 people, including minor children, were killed in June 2015. The NHRC, however, has not recommended any compensation so far in the case.




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