Maoist commander Kundan Pahan surrendered before the Jharkhand Police on Sunday. Pahan, who was the regional committee secretary of the Communist Party of India(Maoist) and the top-most Maoist to have ever surrendered in the state, carried a reward of Rs 15 lakh on his head. Wanted in more than 125 cases, including the murders of inspector Francis Induwar and MLA Ramesh Singh Munda, he admitted to all the crimes he has been named in, reported The Indian Express.

Pahan gave in after long negotiations. He is believed to have had laid down arms around a week ago and was questioned at isolated places, according to Hindustan Times. He also received a cheque for Rs 15 lakh after he surrendered.

“Twenty years have been wasted in the name of doing good for the people,” he told the media in the presence of Additional Director General (Operations) RK Mullik. “It was all a big mistake. If given a chance to reform myself, I will work for any scheme that the government wants me to.”

The police have also released a video in which Pahan can be seen urging Maoist cadres to join hands with the government for the development of the state.

Pahan had joined the Maoists in 1999 when he was 16 years old. He was among the few tribal guerrillas to have headed a state unit. He gave in under a government surrender policy called “Nai Disha” (new direction), under which Maoists who yield are kept in open jails and are allowed to contact their families. The police also urge courts to expedite their cases.

“We are not letting him off the legal process,” said ADG Mullik after the son of MLA Munda, who was killed by Pahan in 2008, protested against his surrender. “We have to be sure as to who should be welcomed for surrender,” said Vikas Kumar Munda, according to The Indian Express. He staged a hunger strike in Ranchi to demand strict punishment for Pahan. Deceased Inspector Induwar’s family, too, raised objections to his surrender.