'Lucrative' surrender offer for Maoists

Those giving up violence will be paid Rs 5 lakh; ANF to be renamed

 The State government will offer a “lucrative, never-before” surrender package to Maoists if they give up violence, Home Minister K J George has said.

Maoists who surrender would be paid Rs five lakh, up from the earlier Rs two lakh. Besides, they would be imparted skilled labour training to make them self-employed, George told reporters here on Tuesday, after chairing a meeting to review development works in seven Naxal-affected districts.

According to the Home Minister, five out of around 30 Maoists operating in the State have surrendered.

“The government is committed to bringing the Maoists into the mainstream and is ready for talks with them,” George stressed, adding that Maoists were not the only target. Anyone indulging in illegal and anti-social activities will be discouraged within the law and order mechanism, he said.

The government was taking precautionary measures to prevent Maoists from forming a corridor spread over the seven districts, George said. He justified the demand by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to the Centre to consider Karnataka a ‘Naxal-affected State’.
According to George, the State needs more funds to rehabilitate the Maoists and the regions having their influence. The Centre releases additional funds as special packages to Maoist-affected states. A special drive would be launched to provide appropriate facilities to the tribals in the Naxal-affected areas.

The government will also rename the Anti-Naxal Force. Its possible names could be the anti-terror squad or anti-terror special force. George, however, cautioned that the force’s efforts would be aimed at mitigating the problems of terrorism as well as Maoism. The KSRP personnel will be trained as special task force for the purpose.

The Home Minister ruled out carrying out mock drills against possible terror attacks. The issue could not be taken lightly, he said.

The basic salary of police personnel in the special force in Maoist-prone areas will be hiked to Rs 1,200 from Rs 300, as per the Police Act, 2006.

As many as 8,000 police personnel would be recruited soon as there were 19,000 vacancies across the State. Police personnel would be given houses under two categories.

In the initial phase, 4,000 to 5,000 houses will be offered. Besides, self financing would be proposed  under the Karnataka State Police Housing Corporation. People from Maoist-affected regions might be considered for recruitment, George added.

V Umesh, Principal Secretary, Home, DG and IGP Lalrokhuma Pachau, and others were present at the press conference.

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