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Maoist-affected districts to get Rs 7 lakh to publicise ‘peace benefits’

The home ministry has advised states to distribute literature among locals about “benefits of peace”, lack of development in Left wing extremism-affected areas due to “fear and extortion of cadres”, and misdeeds of outfits.

india Updated: Dec 19, 2017 22:48 IST
Azaan Javaid
Azaan Javaid
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Maoist-affected districts,Left wing extremism,home ministry
Maoist rebels train in a forest area at Dumariya block in Gaya district in of Bihar.(AP)

In an effort to undermine Naxalite and Maoist ideologies, the ministry of home affairs (MHA) has decided to grant each district affected by Left-wing insurgency a sum of Rs 7 lakh, which will be used to publicise government schemes, benefits of peace, and “misdeeds” of rebels.

The MHA has also decided to introduce financial assistance for civilians and security personnel whose property was damaged by LWE cadres and has tweaked the surrender policy for rebels.

The decisions are a few modifications to the existing Security Related Expenditure scheme or SRE scheme, which is essentially a non-plan component of the annual budget provided to LWE-affected states.

Under the scheme, the expenditure incurred by state governments on publicity material meant for disseminating information about welfare and developmental schemes will be provided by MHA.

It has advised states to distribute literature among locals about “benefits of peace”, lack of development in LWE-affected areas due to “fear and extortion of LWE cadres”, and misdeeds of LWE outfits, officials documents state. Each district is supposed to get Rs 7 lakh for the purpose.

As of now, LWE has spread to 106 districts of 10 states with maximum in Bihar (22), Jharkhand (21), Odisha (19) and Chhattisgarh (16).

“The material will be distributed by state authorities and in some places by paramilitary officials through a door-to-door campaign. We have also advised states to distribute the material during festivals and other social gathering to reach to a wider audience,” the official told HT.

Other decisions taken by the MHA this month include increasing financial perks for left-wing guerrillas who intend to surrender and the inclusion of private helicopter services for counter-insurgency operations in left wing-affected areas.

The government has decided to double the amount received by a high ranking guerrilla upon surrendering with an aim to target Maoist and Naxalite leadership.

Previously, an immediate grant of Rs 2.5 lakh was offered to a higher ranked LWE cadre such as state committee member, regional committee member and politburo member. The amount will now be Rs 5 lakh. For middle and lower ranked cadre, such as area commanders, sub zonal commanders and so on, the amount was Rs 1.5 lakh, which has now been increased to Rs 2.5 lakh.

The government has also approved wet leasing of private helicopters during LWE operations.

First Published: Dec 19, 2017 22:48 IST