Naveen Patnaik at Bhubaneswar
Naveen Patnaik at Bhubaneswar

Odisha: Surrendered Naxals watch Hockey match seated beside Naveen Patnaik

ANI | Updated: Dec 14, 2018 02:24 IST

Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], Dec 14 (ANI): In its bid to bring surrendered Naxals back to the mainstream, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik watched a Hockey World Cup match along with them at Bhubaneswar on Thursday.
About 30 Naxals formerly belonging to the now-banned Communist Party of India (Maoist), including 16 women, came to watch the match in Bhubaneswar, out of which 20 of them were from Malkangiri and 10 from Koraput district.
The surrendered Naxals had exhibited interest to watch a Hockey World Cup match in Bhubaneswar. On their request, Malkangiri's Superintendent of Police, in coordination with other state government officials, made necessary arrangements.
However, when they visited the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar to watch the match, they were 'overjoyed' to see that they would be able to sit beside Patnaik and interact with him. The elated group thanked the chief minister for providing them the opportunity, which, they said, was a "lifetime experience."
"We truly feel today that we are part of the mainstream," they said.
The individuals said Patnaik and the state government's appeal for peace persuaded them to give up Naxalism. They also hailed the state government's progressive, liberal and extremely beneficial "Surrender and Rehabilitation Scheme", and said they were properly rehabilitated by the state government after surrendering.
Under the aforementioned scheme, "those militants/ extremists who either have criminal record or known to be important office bearers of the militant organisations and are willing to surrender with fire arms" would be compensated for the same, according to an official notice issued by the Odisha government in 2006.
"Each surrenderee will be screened by a Committee, comprising District Magistrate, Superintendent of Police and a representative of the Intelligence Department, to be nominated by Director, Intelligence, for accepting the surrender. There shall be a District Rehabilitation Committee for surrendered extremists in each District comprising the District Magistrate, Superintendent of Police, Chair-person of the Zilla Parishad and a representative of the local Co-operative Bank. District Superintendent of Police will be the Convener of the Committee meetings," the notice further read.
The state government also said that the Rehabilitation Committee will prepare the Rehabilitation Package for each surrendered extremists by considering the socio-economic background of the extremist, his age, general education and technical qualification, preference for the kind of rehabilitation, and viability of the rehabilitation package in his case.
"After the surrenderee has been thoroughly debriefed and examined, the District Rehabilitation Committee shall forward his Rehabilitation Package to the State Government through the Director General & Inspector General of Police," it noted.