Rehabilitation Schemes for Naxalites
Image Source : https://intpolicydigest.org/2013/05/26/the-naxalite-attacks-at-sukma/

In this article, Prathiksha Ravi, a law graduate from Institute of Law, Nirma University discusses the rehabilitation schemes for Naxalites

Introduction

Naxalites are members of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) fraction. The name ‘Naxalite’ had its origins in the Naxalbari incident where the party first rose in revolt. 

The term ‘Naxalite’ in order to check for eligibility is loosely defined as any member who takes part in the violent armed struggle advocating Maoist Communism.

Rehabilitation Schemes for Naxalites

Rehabilitation of surrendered members of extremist groups is considered as an ‘acceptable and peaceful’ solution which helps promote peace and development in affected areas.[1] To bring Naxalites into mainstream society, each State has their own rehabilitation and surrender policy.[2]

Guidelines on Surrender-cum-Rehabilitation Policy

What is the scheme about?

In order to facilitate the surrender and the rehabilitation of Naxalites, the central Government has issued guidelines to be followed in the case of Surrender and Rehabilitation of Naxalites in Naxal affected areas. The Objectives of the scheme are:

  1. To discourage misguided youth and the removal of hardcore Naxalites who find themselves trapped in the net of the Naxal Movement.
  2. To ensure those who surrender do not join the Naxal movement again.

Eligibility under the scheme

To be eligible for the benefits of the scheme, one must fall under these conditions

  1. Naxalites who have surrendered with or without arms
  2. They should be cleared after the scrutiny done by the Screening/Rehabilitation Committee which is set up by the respective governments.

Benefits of the scheme

  1. Training in a trade/vocation will be given as per their aptitude.
  2. They will receive a payment of Rs. 2000/- for 2 years. If and when the individual gets an employment, the monthly stipend will end.
  3. Immediate Grant of Rs. 1.5 lakh will be kept in the bank as a fixed deposit. The individual under the scheme will be eligible to withdraw the money on completion of three years.
  4. The amount will not be given in the case where the individual secures a job with the government.
  5. There are additional incentives for the surrendering of weapons which will also be in the form of a fixed deposit which will be given after the completion of three years and on good behaviour.

How to apply?

Based on the eligibility criteria, any individual who comes under the definition of a “Naxalite Cadre” can apply for Surrender-cum-Rehabilitation. The following steps must be followed:

  1. Any member of the Naxal Movement can ‘surrender’ themselves in front anyone in the post of “officer” (includes DGP/IG, District Magistrate, SP, or any other notified officer). They will submit their application for surrender-cum-rehabilitation to the Screening Committee
  2. The Screening Committee will comprise of a Surrender and Rehabilitation Officer (mostly an ADG/IG of Special Branch/CID) and nodal officers (appointed by Central Para Military Force, State Police or State Administration) who will be in charge of the process.
  3. The officer will provide immediate security to the surrendered militant.
  4. After getting the necessary form filled, the surrendered militant will be sent to a transit camp maintained by the S&R Officer.
  5. The acceptance or rejection of the surrender cum rehabilitation for the militant must be done within 15 days from the time of surrender.

The screening process will also include the following –

Naxalite who surrendered must satisfy two conditions –

  1. He must be a hardcore, underground Naxalite who is of the rank ‘dalam’ member and higher. (Any other rank below this shall be considered on case-to-case basis.)
  2. The authority must determine if the individual is a genuine Naxalite. Naxalite must clearly confess his crimes including the naming of others part of the plan and details of the organisation which shall be verified by the Officer.

Heinous crimes such as murder committed by the surrendered Naxal shall continue in the courts. Plea bargaining can be allowed for minor offences.

Enforceability of the scheme

The Naxalite movement came into existence due to the result of prevailing social and economic issues. All the regions in which the Naxal movement took hold are the ones with alarmingly high levels of poverty. Each State has formulated Guidelines for the surrender of Naxals based on the Centre’s ground rules.

Salient features of rehabilitation schemes by Naxal affected States

There are three methods by which states have responded to the Naxalite problem.

  • Security responses – which include the surrender cum rehabilitation policy among others
  • Political Responses – includes the necessity to have talks between the government and the extremist groups
  • Development Responses – includes the development of roads and basic infrastructure in parts affected by the Naxal Violence

Issues Related to Rehabilitation Schemes for Naxalites

“97% of the Naxal surrenders received by the Chhattisgarh Government did not adhere to the definition of Naxal cadre and were not eligible for benefits under the Central / State Government’s Rehabilitation Policy” – The Indian Express, January 2017[3]

Central and State Governments have introduced various guidelines and policies for the surrender and rehabilitation of members of extremist groups. Though the said policy has been declared as “successful” in some states, it has failed to create a lasting effect in others.

Problems that the Rehabilitation Schemes for Naxalites faces are:

States have been authorized to pay the reward amount as and when the Naxalite surrenders.

As per the guidelines of surrender-cum-rehabilitation, the States are required to pay an amount decided as a ‘reward’ for surrendering – this has not been done in many states[4]

Many surrendered individuals do not take up the land / financial assistance due to:

  • Fear of retribution from current Naxal cadres
  • Not enough experience/ investment opportunities

    Tactical Surrenders

In certain cases, individuals who make use of this scheme for furthering their own vested interests, surrender to enjoy its benefits.

Success Stories

  • In Bastar, Chhattisgarh, due to the policy of ‘Our Bastar, Our Police’, many former Naxal cadres are surrendering before the Deputy Superintendent of Police. They are given Rs. 10,000/- as ‘encouragement money’ and are rehabilitated according to the policy.
  • The Andhra Pradesh Model for combating Naxalism has been successful not only because of military/police upmanship but also due to development in Naxal violence-affected areas and rehabilitation schemes for Naxalites.[5]
  • The number of surrenders has increased dramatically over the years throughout the country.
Year 2014 2015 2016
Number of Left-Wing Extremists cadres surrendered in the country 676 570 1442

Source: Surrender by LWE cadres in India (M. Government of India 2017)

Conclusion

The Naxalite Movement is a revolutionary movement aimed at overthrowing the capitalist bourgeois through an armed struggle to achieve equal status. These far-left radicals are outlawed and termed as the single biggest threat to internal security of India. The government in order to discourage misguided youth and bring hardcore militants to the mainstream, have introduced surrender-cum-rehabilitation schemes.

Know more about the Scheme – Contact Information

State Contact Information
Odisha Sri Santosh Kumar Upadhyay, ADG, CID, CB
0671-2304834 (O)
0674-2532123 (R)
0671-2304659 (FAX)
Email:[email protected]
For further contact information, click here
Jharkhand Sri P.R.K Naidu, ADGP

(0651)-2281530 (O)

9431172045 (M)

For further contact information, click here

Bihar Sri Vinay Kumar, ADG, CID

(612)-2217938 (O)

8986912802 (Mobile)

For further contact information, click here

Andhra Pradesh DG and IG, A.P Police

(0863)-2340445 (O)

For further contact information, click here

Chhattisgarh Sri A.N.Upadhyay

DGP Chhattisgarh,

2211201 (O)

For further contact information, click here

Madhya Pradesh Sri. Rishi Kumar Shukla

(0755)-2443500 (O)

Email: [email protected]

For further contact information: click here

Maharashtra ADGP, CID

Sri. Sanjay Kumar

(020)-25638446

For further contact information, click here

West Bengal Sri Sanjoy Mukherjee,

ADGP CID,

(033)24791330 (O)

For further contact information, click here

References

[1] Guidelines for Surrender-cum-Rehabilitation of Naxalites in the Naxal affected States, Ipleaders Blog, https://blog.ipleaders.in/naxalites-surrender-mha/ [Date of Visit: 09/02/2018 Time of Visit: 3:00 pm IST]

[2] Naxals Surrender and Rehabilitation Policy, Press Information Bureau, http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=67973 [Date of Visit: 09/02/2018 Time of Visit: 1:50 pm IST]

[3] Ministry of Home Affairs, Guidelines on Surrender-cum-Rehabilitation of Naxalites on Naxal Affected States

http://mha.gov.in/sites/upload_files/mha/files/surrrenderPolAendments070909_0.pdf [Date of Visit: 09/02/2018 and Time of visit: 4:20 pm IST]

[4] http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2017/sep/22/10-naxals-surrender-in-chhattisgarh-1661281.html

[5] The Hindu, ‘Naxal Rehabilitation not a Smooth Affair’

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-andhrapradesh/Naxal-rehabilitation-not-a-smooth-affair/article14772910.ece [Date of Visit: 12/02/2018 Time of Visit: 4:10 pm]

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