RAIPUR: In Chhattisgarh, this year the centre of attraction during the upcoming Republic Day parade in conflict-ridden Bastar would be the participation for the first time of the contingent of force comprising of surrendered Maoists as well those who were the Naxal-victims. Besides them, in the R—Day parade to be organised at Lal Bagh stadium in Jagdalpur—the district headquarters of Bastar, the Bastariya battalion consisting of only the local tribals and raised by the CRPF would take part for the first time. “Apart from the surrendered Maoist cadres and the Naxal-victims who have joined the forces, this year a platoon of the Bastariya battalion would equally be one of the key attraction in the Republic Day parade. Chief Minister Shri Bhupesh Baghel will be the first time hosting the national flag at Jagdalpur”, the Bastar inspector general of police Sunderraj P told TNIE. In recent years several cadres of the outlawed CPI (Maoist) frustrated with the ‘anti-development and hollow ideology’ of the left-wing extremist had surrendered before the police in the strife-torn zone of Bastar, expressing their willingness to return to the mainstream, Sunderraj added. Previous year around 30 surrendered women cadres who are now part of new force named ‘Danteshwari Fighters’ were part of the Independence Day parade at Jagdalpur. A full dress rehearsal now remains in full swing before the actual event on January 26. Bhupesh Baghel will be the first Congress chief minister in 17 years to unfurl a tricolour for the first time and take the salute at the Jagdalpur (Bastar) R-Day parade. The state government has already begun preparations in all 27 districts to observe the Republic Day.