Monday, September 07, 2009

Centre moots sops for surrendered Naxals

7 Sep 2009, 0241 hrs IST, Bharti Jain, ET Bureau

NEW DELHI: Vocational training along with a monthly stipend of Rs 2,000 each for up to three years, Rs 1.5 lakh in fixed deposit with a three-year
maturity and additional incentives up to Rs 25,000 for each surrendered weapon or ammunition.

These are some of the key benefits on offer under the Centre’s new surrender-cum-rehabilitation guidelines for Naxalites finalised on August 26.

The Centre, as part of its multi-pronged conflict management and resolution strategy, has designed the surrender-cum-rehabilitation policy for Maoists to provide gainful employment and entrepreneurial opportunities to the surrendered Naxalites and also ensure that they do not find it attractive anymore to return to the Naxal fold.

Importantly, the policy will be implemented along with firm action by the counter forces against Naxalites who indulge in violent acts.

The surrender-and-rehabilitation guidelines for Naxalites will apply to the hardcore, underground Naxalite cadre, both with or without arms, as well as Dalam members. The overground supporters and sympathisers can avail of the benefits under the scheme “only in exceptional cases”.

The eligibility of surrendering Naxalites for assistance under the Central scheme will be subject to scrutiny by a screening-cum-rehabilitation (S&R) committee to be constituted by the state government concerned. While ADG/IG of the Special Branch or CID will act as S&R officer, each of the security forces deployed in the anti-Naxal operations will identify a DIG or equivalent rank officer as its nodal officer. The state police and administration will also be involved.

The authority will ensure that a surrenderee is a genuine Naxalite and the Naxalite should make a clear confession of all the criminal acts committed by him/her, including the names of planners, other participants, financiers, harbourers, couriers, details of Naxal organisations, arms/ammunition and property looted by the Naxalite and the organisation to which he belongs. This may be suitably verified.

The benefits under the Central surrender-cum-rehabilitation scheme — which will not be available to a surrenderee who has already availed of a similar existing scheme in any of the Naxal-hit states — include the following:

(i) Training of eligible candidates in a trade or vocation as per their liking or aptitude, along with a monthly stipend of Rs 2,000 each for a maximum period of 36 months.

(ii) Immediate grant of Rs 1.5 lakh to be kept in a bank fixed deposit and which may be withdrawn three years after surrender, subject to good behaviour to be certified by the authorities designated by the states concerned. This money can also be used as collateral security against bank loans to be taken by the surrenderee for self-employment.

However, there is a rider to these benefits accruing to the surrenderee. While the stipend will be discontinued as and when the surrenderee secures a government job or gainful self-employment, the fixed deposit money too will not be transferred if the surrenderee gets employment with the government ahead of maturity.

The armed Naxalites will get additional incentives for surrendering weapons and ammunition. While each UMG, GPMG, Picca, RPG or sniper rifle will fetch him Rs 25,000, an AK-series gun will get him Rs 15,000 each. The surrender of SAM missiles would earn a Naxalite Rs 20,000 and that of a satellite phone, Rs 10,000.

The incentive fixed under the Central scheme is Rs 3,000 per pistol or revolver surrendered, Rs 1,000 per rocket or IED, Rs 500 per grenade, Rs 3,000 for a remote controlled device or landmine, Rs 3 for every round of ammunition, Rs 1,000 for every kg of explosives, Rs 5,000 for every long-range wireless set and Rs 1,000 for the short-range ones, and Rs 5,000 for each VHF/HF communication set.

Even this monetary incentive will be deposited in a fixed deposit in the joint name of the surrenderee and state government nominee and will mature at three years after surrender.

The Naxalites can surrender before the Central para-military forces, district magistrate, DSP, Range DIG, IG (Operations), DIG (Special Branch), SP (Special Branch), SDM, sub-divisional police officer or any other officer notified by the state governments.

The details of the surrenderee would have to be forwarded by the receiving officer to the S&R officer and nodal officers of all forces. The nodal officer will verify the antecedents and activities of the Naxalites from his/her own sources and send back specific recommendations to the S&R officer on whether the individual can be taken in as a surrenderee.

The surrenderee will be provided security by the receiving officer, before being put up in a transit camp. While the heinous crimes committed by the surrendering Naxalite will continue in the courts, plea bargaining can be allowed in minor offences if the state deems fit.

Free legal services and constitution of fast-track courts to try their crimes are the other benefits that the states concerned may extend to the surrendered.

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