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Orissa to amend ‘failed’ Maoist rehab policy

Published : Jun 6, 2016, 9:28 am IST
Updated : Jun 6, 2016, 9:28 am IST

ng to sources in the state home department, only 68 of the 171 Maoists who surrendered between January 1, 2014, and February 1, 2016, have availed the government’s rehabilitation package.

Maoists surrendering in Malkangiri, Orissa.
 Maoists surrendering in Malkangiri, Orissa.

ng to sources in the state home department, only 68 of the 171 Maoists who surrendered between January 1, 2014, and February 1, 2016, have availed the government’s rehabilitation package. The remaining 83 people did not avail the benefits as they could not satisfy the minimum criteria laid down by the state government.

The deprivation of the 83 surrendered Maoists from availing government benefits has come as a discouragement for other Red radicals who want to quit the Left Wing Extremism (LWE) activities to lead a peaceful life.

The sources informed that in order to speed up the surrender process of the Maoists, the government is contemplating to amend the current rehabilitation norms so as to extend the benefits to larger number of persons that would further contribute to the waning of Maoists activities in the state.

The current Revised Surrender-cum-Rehabilitation Scheme (RSRS) 2014 divides the Left Wing Extremists into three categories — Category 1, Category 2-A and Category 2-B.

High-ranking cadres like state committee members (SCMs), regional committee members (RCMs), central committee members (CCMs) and politburo members come under Category 1.

Middle and low-ranking cadres such as area commanders, sub-zonal commanders and zonal commanders are placed under Category 2-A, while Dalam members involved in heinous crime come under Category 2-B.

The RSRS requires that a surrendered extremist, in ordered to be eligible to avail the benefits, must reveal the real names and identify of his/ her organisation, associate members, financiers and the source of procuring ammunition.

The rehabilitation package for a surrenderee coming under Category 1 includes payment up to Rs 35,000 for surrendering with the arms in working condition, live ammunition and explosives, provision of Rs 25,000 cash equivalent of 04 decimal homestead land.

In case the surrenderee is too old for studying in the formal school, the option of studying through National Institute of Open Schooling should be explored. Similarly, in case the surrenderee opts for marriage, an incentive of Rs 25,000 only will be granted for his/her marriage. This amount will be paid either at the time of marriage or after the marriage has been solemnised.

Besides, he/she will be paid Rs 2.5 lakh on acceptance of his surrender. Out of this, Rs 50,000 will be given to him in cash to meet his/her immediate need. The remaining amount of Rs 2 lakh will be deposited in fixed deposit (FDs) in favour of surrenderee and the Nodal Officer of the district. Of this Rs 50,000 will be released after one year and the balance amount of Rs 1.5 lakh after three years subject to the satisfactory conduct of the surrenderee.

This money can also be utilized as collateral security/margin money against loans to be availed of by the surrenderee from any Bank for self-employment.

However, the RSRS which outwardly appears quite alluring and lucrative often does not reach to all the targeted beneficiaries within the stipulated one month from the period of surrender as many of them fail to satisfy all the norms.

For example, a Maoist cadre who has just been drafted into a Dalam (local unit) by a local acquaintance and has taken part in execution of an act of violence, - often does not know about his real recruiters, the source of ammunition he used; names and identify of his associates. Hence, he is deprived of the RSRS benefits.

The illiteracy and ignorance of the surrendered Maoists often fail them to give details of the violent incidents he participated, firearms and ammunition he looted and disposal of properties to different organizations or individuals.

The sources revealed the state government was keen to address these bottlenecks by making the RSRS simpler so that more and more Maoists will shun violence and join the mainstream.

Notably, Koraput district registered the highest number of Maoists (56) surrendering between January 1, 2014 and February 1, 2016 followed by Sundargarh (44) and Malkangiri (42).

A good number of LWE activists also surrendered in other districts such as Jajpur, Dhenkanal, Gajapati, Ganjam, Nabarangpur, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Sambalpur, Deogarh, Nayagarh, Bolangir, Rayagada, Kandhamal, Bargarh, Kalahandi.

Location: India, Odisha, Bhubaneswar