The NDA government’s proposed anti-Naxal policy includes a robust surrender and rehabilitation plan for Maoists and intends to double the amount paid to the rebels who want to lay down weapons.
The Union Home Ministry has proposed up to Rs 5 lakh as one time payment to surrendered Maoists. The amount during UPA’s tenure was Rs 2.5 lakh. The monthly stipend for three years to surrendered Naxals will be increased from Rs 3,000 to Rs 6,000.
The draft policy, which will be soon forwarded to the Cabinet, also proposes more “proactive” role of the Naxal-affected states and intends to increase their power to limit their dependence on the Centre to tackle the menace. This could mean raising of more state auxiliary forces and less dependence on central forces like CRPF, BSF and ITBP for operations in these areas.
Not only this, the new policy talks about increasing the number of fortified police stations from 400 to 650 in the Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected states. The MHA will provide Rs 2 crore to construct each such police station, which will have high walls and bulletproof gates.
As per the proposed policy, the government is going to take on the second phase of road requirement plan (RRP-II) to improve connectivity in the Maoist-affected areas. The RRP-I, which aimed at constructing 5,477 km of state and national highways in the LWE districts, is far from over as so far only 2,750 km of roads have been built. The total cost of the project is Rs 7,200 crore.
“The most common problem we face is that road contractors don’t come forward to take up these projects when a tender is announced and even if they do sometimes they are rejected because of high bids they place. We have decided to give maximum security for such projects and if nobody comes forward or doesn’t meet the criteria even, then any contractor can be chosen and given the work,” said a senior home ministry official. Soon after taking charge, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh held a meeting with the chief secretaries and DGP’s of all 10 LWE affected states and had announced the a policy to deal with Naxalism.
The policy will focus on the 23 worst LWE affected districts, which have reported 80 per cent of the violence and incidents so far.
“The states have to be self-sufficient and it is ultimately they who have to give answers. For this we are going to focus on the 23 worst affected districts and step up support to the states under the Security Related Expenditure. We are also going to increase the amount for several infrastructure schemes,” said the official.