R Dutta Choudhury
GUWAHATI, Feb 4: In addition to the Central Government’s scheme for rehabilitation of the surrendered militants, Assam Government, on its own, has also launched a similar scheme for the surrendered ultras not covered by the Centre’s scheme. In addition to help the militants to merge with the society, the schemes are also encouraging more and more members of underground outfits to come over ground.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Additional Director General of Police, Special Branch, HC Nath said that to avoid any misuse of funds released under the schemes, all cash transactions have been stopped and money is provided directly to the accounts of the beneficiaries from Government accounts.
Giving details of the schemes, Nath said that whenever a militant surrenders, his or her antecedents are checked thoroughly at different levels and the hardcore militants are eligible for the Central Government’s scheme for the surrendered militants. Under the scheme, a fixed deposit of Rs 4 lakh each is provided to each surrendered militant for a period of three years.
They can withdraw the money after receiving a good conduct certificate from the police. However, they can take loan from banks and financial institutions by depositing the fixed deposit certificate. During the intervening period of three years, each surrendered militant gets a monthly stipend of Rs 6,000 every month.
However, if any surrendered militant gets a Government job or take over a political position, he or she would not get the monthly stipend.
For example, a number of surrendered National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) militants were elected as members of the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) and they would not get the monthly stipend.
As surrendered militants, who were not categorized as hardcore ultras as well as over ground workers and linkmen of militant outfits, are not covered under the Central Government’s scheme, Assam Government has launched a scheme called Swavalamban for their rehabilitation. Under the scheme, the surrendered ultras are given training for self employment in the State Institute of Panchayat and Rural Development and they are given an amount of Rs one lakh each so that they can become self sufficient. A proposal has also been mooted to increase the amount paid to them to Rs two lakh.
The ADG said that the schemes not only helped surrendered militants to merge “meaningfully” with the society but it is also encouraging other militants to return to the mainstream by abjuring the path of violence.
Meanwhile, on the issue of rehabilitation of the militants belonging to all four factions of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB), Nath said that fixed deposits of Rs four lakh each have been credited against 1279 militants and the certificates were given to them recently. However, completing the process will take some time.
Nath revealed that 1615 militants belonging to all four factions of the NDFB laid down arms last year and their credentials were verified at different stages. Later, the NDFB (S) submitted a fresh list of 4,444 more cadres claiming that those people were working as “militia” for them and they should also be covered under the rehabilitation scheme. Verification of the antecedents of all those people will take some time.
Regarding withdrawal of cases, Nath said that as per the accord signed with the four factions of the NDFB, only the cases, which are not of heinous nature, would be withdrawn. On the reports that cases against Ranjan Daimary would also be withdrawn, Nath pointed out that the NDFB leader was jailed in connection with a case registered with the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the State Government would not be in a position to withdraw the case against him. The Central Government will have to take a decision in this regard, he added.