In keeping with her election promise, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday announced for surrendered Maoists a substantially improved rehabilitation package over the one the previous Left Front government had.
“We want Maoists to leave politics of the gun and violence and join the mainstream. It will be our responsibility to provide you (rebels) with rehabilitation and social and financial security, and help you join the national mainstream,” Banerjee said.
Maoists who laid down arms would receive in their names a three-year fixed deposit of Rs 1.5 lakh, Banerjee told reporters at the state secretariat.
They will also be entitled to a stipend of Rs 2,000 per month for three years. However, it will be stopped if they get a job during the period of the dole.
For arms surrendered, Banerjee said: “Depending on the quality and the arms surrendered, Maoists will be paid between Rs 25,000 and Rs 2 lakh.”
“Earlier the incentive for surrendering an AK47 or AK56 rifle was 15,000. It has been increased to Rs 1 lakh. In the earlier package, the incentive for surrendering a light machine gun was Rs 25,000. This has been hiked to Rs 2 lakh,” a senior officer in the home department said.
During her visit to the areas soon after coming to power, Banerjee said the state government would provide jobs to young people from Jangalmahal (districts of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia) and to the rebels who surrender.
Bandh ban: The state government would bring in a law, if necessary, to curb shutdowns and strikes in West Bengal, Banerjee announced on Friday.
“I will not call a bandh myself, neither would I allow anyone to call a bandh. If necessary we will bring in a new law for this.”