Fast-track benefits for Maoist outfits

RANCHI: The Jharkhand government is not leaving any stone unturned to curb the problem of Left wing extremism in the state. In its latest initiative, the state home department has plans to make changes in the surrender and rehabilitation policy for Maoists and other rebel outfits and expedite disposal of claims.

The department is making changes in the existing policy to make it more effective and time bound as it was receiving complaints that the surrendered Maoists were not able to avail of the welfare benefits even after a couple of years after their surrender.

In the last one year alone, about 35 Maoists and members of other rebel groups have come over ground to join the mainstream.

Additional director general of police Rezi Dung Dung said state home secretary JB Tubid had asked the department to make necessary changes in the existing policy so that more rebels were encouraged to join the mainstream. “We have made certain changes and hope that more rebels will join the mainstream and lead a normal life,” Dung Dung said.

Jharkhand police spokesman S N Pradhan said the department wanted to ensure there were no loopholes in the process, thereby, expediting the availability of land and other welfare schemes for the families of surrendered Maoists.

“Henceforth, we plan to give the cash incentive of Rs 50,000 and the amount which is fixed for the weapon which they handover at the time of their surrender, immediately,” said Pradhan.

To make this possible, the home department has decided to directly provide some funds to the state police. Till now the practice was that the money would remain with the district administration. The amount given in lieu of the weapon ranges from Rs 15,000 to Rs 1 lakh.

Sources said that there were complaints of delay in construction of houses allotted under the Indira Awas Yojna by families of surrendered Maoists. Now the department has decided to allow the family members to live in rented houses. The amount will be announced soon.

“We are also planning to make the process of allotment of land to the family for constructing the house fast so that they hold no grudges and any rebel who wants to join mainstream does not have doubt or fear of delay,” said a source. Government provides a plot of four decimal for construction of house.

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