Jharkhand approves new rehabilitation policy for Maoist rebels

February 13th, 2009 - 8:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Ranchi, Feb 13 (IANS) The Jharkhand government Friday cleared a new rehabilitation policy for Maoist rebels, designed to encourage them to surrender.
“The surrender and rehabilitation policy has been cleared by the advisory committee of the governor. The new policy has been made attractive enough to ensure surrender of Maoist rebels,” P.K. Jajoria, secretary, cabinet coordination committee told reporters here.

The main features of the policy include extending financial support up to Rs.250,000 to surrendered Maoists and providing them free plots to build a house.

The policy also includes ensuring a bank loan for the surrendered rebel to start a business, with the state government bearing half the loan burden. If the rebel carries any reward on his head, the amount will also be paid to him after his surrender.

If a rebel surrenders with weapons, then the state will pay him an additional sum depending on the weapon, with the maximum amount to be Rs.100,000.

The policy also mentions providing the surrendered Maoists insurance cover and free education up to secondary level for their children as well as help in ensuring their marriage.

The surrendered Maoist rebels will get the benefits only when they surrender in front of a minister, police official or authorities appointed by the government. The benefits will be withdrawn if the surrendered rebel will be found indulging in Maoist activities.

These benefits will be extended only to members of groups that have been banned by the government.

Police officials say that the new policy is attractive and they are hopeful that it will attract rebels in joining the mainstream of society.

In Jharkhand, Maoist rebels are active in 18 of the 24 districts of the state. More than 1,450 people have been killed in Maoist related violence in last eight years.

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