Civil society wants 2 changes in rehab package for Maoists

Govt panel accepts suggestions in principle

Members of the civil society, who are part of the committee set up to bring Naxalites into the mainstream, have recommended two changes to the rehabilitation package announced by the State government.

A committee headed by Chief Minister Kaushik Mukherjee has accepted the changes in principle.

At the first meeting of the civil society committee on Tuesday, freedom fighter H S Doreswamy, journalist Gauri Lankesh and lawyer A K Subbaiah asked several changes to be incorporated in the rehabilitation order.

Accordingly, it is said the government will change the existing title of the rehabilitation package to “Revised scheme for facilitating the return/surrender/assimilation and rehabilitation of left-wing extremists into mainstream of
society”.

In the objectives section, the civil society members have asked the State to say: “The objective of the scheme is to facilitate the return of those left-wing extremists who differ with the Maoist politics of armed struggle and (are) willing to return to the mainstream of democratic movements through reassuring legal democratic space...”

This apart, the committee also discussed the repeated delay in bringing back two Naxalites, Noor Zulfikar and Sirimane Nagaraj, into the mainstream society. Briefing the media after the meeting, Doreswamy and Lankesh said that neither Naxalite wanted any monetary benefits from the rehabilitation package but only that the government withdraw the cases filed against them.

Doreswamy said that the members had appealed to the government for the same as they believed the cases registered against the two Naxalites were false. Police are said to have registered four cases against Zulfikar and two against Nagaraj.

The civil society members said that Mukherjee had sought time till October 29 so that he could get a detailed report from the police on the two Naxalites before taking any decision on the matter.

Reacting to the demands of the civil society, Home Minister K J George said that he would soon have a meeting with the district administration and get the details before taking any decision.

Home dept had no role in tapping phones of DVS’ kin: George

The police, and not the Home Department, tapped the phones in the case relating to the son of Railway Minister

D V Sadananda Gowda, Home Minister K J George said on Tuesday.

Replying to reporters’ questions, George said that the phone tapping was entirely handled by the police, and that he or Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had nothing to do with it. “The police have taken action as per law, and the government has nothing to do with it,” he said.

When his attention was drawn to the Opposition’s demand for the chief minister’s resignation, George hit back, saying the BJP was acting out of “desperation” as it was “rattled” by Siddaramaiah’s good work.

On the transfer of former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalitha to her home state, George said that the Karnataka government had no role to play in it.

“There has been no request from her to be transferred out of Bangalore. If the court orders us to transfer her out of Karnataka, we are ready for that,” he said.

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