Chhattisgarh policemen to get Maoist duty allowance

March 20th, 2008 - 2:35 pm ICT by admin  

Raipur, March 20 (IANS) In a bid to lift the morale of police personnel engaged in a bloody battle with Maoist guerrillas, the Chhattisgarh government is providing 15 percent `Maoist duty allowance’ to policemen. Chhattisgarh Home Minister Ramvichar Netam said Thursday that the home department had issued an order March 14 for the allowance, which will cover policemen posted at 84 police stations in the worst insurgency-hit areas of the state.

The allowance will also be paid to personnel from eight battalions of the state police presently engaged in the fight against insurgents.

“The 15 percent allowance to policemen on their basic salary will benefit at least 5,000 policemen presently deployed in the interiors of state’s forested southern Bastar region where guerrillas have been strong for decades,” Netam told IANS.

He described the move as “purely intended to lift the morale of policemen posted in the hilly Bastar region and fighting with rebels in a difficult situation”.

Police officials said the decision would largely allay misgivings amongst Chhattisgarh policemen that their postings in Bastar’s five districts - Kanker, Narayanpur, Bastar, Bijapur and Dantewada - are mainly `punishment postings’ and after deployment they lobby to get transferred outside insurgency-prone pockets.

The government’s decision for Maoist duty allowance came in the midst of the biggest ever operation against insurgents launched last week to take on guerrillas in their safest zone, the Abujhmad forests in Bastar, an area ringed with landmines planted by the rebels.

The Maoists have a massive terror infrastructure at Abujhmad besides Bijapur and Dantewada districts.

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