In a boost to the anti-Naxal campaign in Orissa, 16 Maoists involved in several attacks on forest offices surrendered before the police in Gajapati district today.

The ultras from seven villages of Adaba area of the naxal-hit district decided to lay down arms as they felt misled, betrayed and exploited by their seniors, district Superintendent of Police Sanjeev Arora said here.

Aged between 18 and 35 years, the rebels had joined Maoist activities in 2008 and undergone training in various fields including handling of different weapons.

The ultras were active in southern Orissa, mainly Gajapati district, and involved in several operations including attacks on forest offices, the SP said, adding most of them were providing logistic support.

They had joined the rebels after being promised that welfare of tribals and development of backward areas would be ensured by the Maoists, he said.

The ultras have also told police that they were being exploited by their seniors.