Jharkhand Maoists shun gun and pursue spiritual path

      Maoist rebels, who were active in Jharkhand, of late have shunned their weapons and instead are following the way of spirituality. This was disclosed at a press conference addressed by former Maoists as well as resource guides of the Art of Living, a spiritual movement founded by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar here on Tuesday. It was mentioned that the disciples of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar as pro-active members of the Art of Living have been visiting various jails in Jharkhand, and counselling the interned Maoists about love, non-violence and allied ethical practises in life. Reportedly, the recent visit by the spiritual guru to the state has inspired the Maoists to leave the way of violence and fight for their rights in a democratic way. Satish Kumar is one of such Maoists, who have resolved to change from the path of violence. He has floated a political forum with like-minded Maoists under the name of Jharkhand Vikas Party. "After meeting him (Sri Sri Ravi Shankar) I felt that he really wants to work for the good of the poor people. They also need help and we also need help. They will help at the higher level because they have their network whereas we do not have any such network but still the people of Jharkhand support us," said Satish Kumar. Sushila Singh, a teacher associated with the Art of Living said that the course and interaction with the Maoists have helped the Maoists in changing their attitude. "As on today, in Lategarh, we have conducted classes for 1200 to 1300 Maoists and in the rest 26 districts of Jharkhand all have signed the MoUs and we are working in around 17 jails. We have talked to Guruji that we need some more teachers in Jharkhand. There has been a drastic change in their physical and mental ability, thanks to the course," Sushila added. Jharkhand is one of the worst hit by Maoist movement and violence. Equipped with automatic weapons, mines and explosives, the Maoists have been carrying out attack and crippling economic activities. Last year they carried out around 1,000 attacks, mostly in remote jungles and villages. Maoists have formally been labelled as a terrorist group by central government, which gives security forces more enforcement powers.

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