Surrendered Maoists to snoop on their ex-comrades

Their training as home guard begins from New Year.

During their years as Maoists, they had spent time trailing or attacking security forces. But now even though Maoist threat is on the wane in West Bengal, the state government is going to utilise those who have surrendered for snooping on their former comrades.

Since 2010, 38 Maoists have surrendered in the state. Five of them in recent months and the process of finalising their rehabilitation is still on. Out of the remaining 33, except for Suchitra Mahato, 32 have got jobs as home guards in the Department of Disaster Management, who will be, as per rule, put under the service of the Superintendent of Police of the districts they belong to.

The home guards will be deployed in the three Left Wing Extremism (LWE)-affected districts of West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura and will be paid Rs 310 a day. Their training will begin from January 1 next year.

"Some of the surrendered Maoists have special skills like working for photoshops and we are thinking of inducting them in our Intelligence Branch. We have special plans for them. In fact, we will use them according to their skills," a top official of the Home Department who requested anonymity told The Indian Express.

After the death of Maoist leader Kishenji, the Naxalism-related violence in West Bengal has remarkably gone down. Now, the state plans to use the former ultras to weed out the last remnants of Maoists.

The state government is recruiting them under a special category. The minimum educational qualification of Class X pass out and the age bar of 35 have been relaxed in a few of the cases to get the surrendered Maoists back to the mainstream.

The surrendered Maoists have also been receiving monthly stipend of Rs 2,000, a cash sun of Rs 1.5 lakh deposited in their banks accounts and also incentives for the weapons they have surrendered as part of the surrender package announced by the Trinamool Congress government.

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