Saturday, June 27, 2009

In time of recession, Naxalites go on recruitment spree

manoj chaurasia

PATNA, 27 JUNE: Even as the continuing global economic meltdown has led to curtailment in job opportunities, Maoists in Bihar are making the most of the situation.

Unemployed youths are being lured ~ with a promise of a salary of Rs 2,500 to Ra 3,000 a month ~ to join as cadres. The monthly package as announced by the Communist Party of India-Maoist ~ now declared a terrorist outfit by the Union home ministry ~ is comparable to what is paid to some government employees, such as the nyay mitras (law aides), shiksha mitras and panchayat teachers recently recruited by the Nitish Kumar government.

The matter came to light after local police, during a raid in the Bhim dam area in eastern Bihar’s Munger district stumbled upon some posters advertising for new recruits. According to Intelligence sources more than 500 top Maoists have been arrested or killed during intensive combing operations launched in Bihar and neighbouring Jharkhand, and the present recruitment drive by the Maoists is aimed at strengthening the organisation.

The Maoists have been using the forest corridors that link south Bihar’s Jamui district bordering Jharkhand to Orissa, to train the cadres so that they can match the paramilitary forces during combat. “How is their number swelling if they do not recruit more youths. The pay package announced by them is a good one. We are keeping a close watch on their activities”, the DIG (Munger Range) Mr Amit Kumar told The Statesman.

The Bihar government has recruited nyay mitras (law aides) in gram kutchery (village courts) at a monthly pay of Rs 2,500. Likewise, shiksha mitras and panchayat teachers have been appointed on a contractual basis on a paltry monthly salary ranging from Rs 2,500 to Rs 4,000 ~ less than what is currently paid to Group-D staff in permanent government jobs. The Maoists’ offer, thus, is obviously inviting to many educated employable youths who have failed to find jobs elsewhere, said a police official who requested anonymity

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