Monday, November 29, 1999

Bengal announces special package for Maoists

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Kolkata, Jun 17 (PTI) The West Bengal government today announced a special package to bring Maoists back to the mainstream under a ''Special Rehabilitation Scheme'' formulated by the Centre. Announcing the package, West Bengal Chief Secretary Ardhendu Sen told reporters that the state government would implement the surrender-cum-rehabilitation package for those who surrender arms and agree to join the mainstream. "The cases of persons now in police custody will be reviewed. Persons who have minor charges against them may, as a special gesture, be released on bail," he said. The surrendered cadres would be kept under watch after their release and they will be appropriately helped in rehabilitation if they maintain good conduct, Sen said. He said there are indications that some Naxalites might surrender and the district administration had been given necessary instruction in this regard. About 400 to 500 persons in the Maoist zone, comprising districts of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia, had been arrested in the last one year, he said. A special cell would be created in the West Midnapore DM''s office for planning and implementing the special package of development schemes in the district. In Bankura and Purulia, a senior officer would be specially entrusted for the job. The government is committed to socio-economic development of backward areas in the state, particularly the Maoist- affected areas, Sen said. (More) PTI AKB MD.

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