Surrenderees plight figure in House
Government working on rehab package for surrendered UGs: CM

Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 15: Chief Minister O Ibobi who also holds the Home portfolio today informed the Assembly that the Government is working overtime to chart out a rehabilitation scheme for surrendered militants.

Replying to a call attention motion moved by Opposition MLA O Joy today, the Chief Minister said that as per the rehabilitation package announced by the Centre in 1999, with retrospective effect from April 1, 1998, a total of 27 of the 146 surrendered militants have been inducted into the State police force and the Manipur Rifles.

The Chief Minister further said that under the rehabilitation package announced by the Centre, the surrendered militants are to be paid a stipend of Rs 2000 each per month for a period of one year to undergo vocational training.

All the surrendered militants have finished the one year period.

Even though the period of one year has expired the State Government is seriously looking into the possibilities of working out a scheme to ensure the safety of the ex-militants who are currently housed at the Commando barrack.

The Chief Minister also said that not all the surrendered militants can be recruited in the State Police Department and Manipur Rifles as a good number of them do not fulfill the terms and conditions to merit induction into the force.

However the Government is not going to abandon the surrendered militants to their fate said the Chief Minister adding that a sum of Rs 2 crores has been reflected in the Budget to ensure their welfare and safe existence.

O Joy who moved the motion said that it would prove futile for the Government to keep on inviting the militants to come to the mainstream if the authority cannot properly rehabilitate the surrenderees.

The Opposition MLA further said that it would not be in the fitness of things to remain indifferent to the plight of the surrendered UGs after coaxing them to come overground.

Even if they are not fit to be inducted in the uniformed services the State Government should look into the possibility of providing employment in the other Government Departments, he continued.

If their threat to commit serial suicide becomes a reality it would deal a death blow to the efforts to strike up dialogue with the underground outfits, observed O Joy.

The Opposition MLA also proposed that the State Government approach the Centre to amend the surrender policy especially for Manipur.

On the proposal to bring the militants to the negotiating table, the Chief Minister said the Government is looking for a suitable person to be the emissary.