Wednesday, August 6, 2008

India : Sops for cops serving in red dens

Bhubaneswar, Aug. 5: In order to boost the morale of police personnel working in Maoist-affected areas, chief minister Naveen Patnaik today announced a state gallantry award of Rs 1 lakh and a special package for them.

The morale of the men in khaki working in the Naxalite-hit areas has been down following frequent rebel attacks. Recently in two consecutive attacks in Malkgangiri, 55 policemen of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh had been killed.

Meanwhile, leaders of the Orissa Police Association and the Orissa Constable Havildar Federation expressed resentment over the “government apathy and neglect” shown to the policemen working in rebel-hit areas and their family members. They have criticised the inadequate quantity of compensation and delay in payment to the family members of the victims of Naxalite attack and also the lack of adequate incentive for policemen in such areas.

Against this backdrop, Naveen today announced the special package of incentives, which include a cash award of Rs 1 lakh, special allowance, promotion and hike of compensation. The state government will institute a gallantry medal and a cash award of Rs 1 lakh to the personnel who show extraordinary bravery in combating Maoists. Similarly, such policemen would be promoted for brilliant performance.

Naveen announced that the ex-gratia assistance given to the family members of those police officers killed or injured during anti-Naxalite operations would be doubled with effect from January 1 this year. The financial assistance to be paid to the family members of the deceased police personnel up to the rank of sub-inspector will be raised from Rs 4 lakh to Rs 8 lakh. This amount will be raised in case of police officers in the rank of inspector or above to Rs 10 lakh from the existing Rs 5 lakh.

Similarly, police officers who have become permanently disabled during anti-Naxalite operations would get the double amount of Rs 4 lakh. The financial assistance for partially disabled policemen would be hiked from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh. Besides, all the treatment of injured policemen will be borne by the state government.

It has also been decided to provide a government job up to the rank of grade II official to one of the eligible family members of each of the victims in Naxalite attack. Besides, a special allowance up to Rs 1,000 per month would be given to the children of the victims for their study up to degree level.

The allowance paid to the retired defence personnel engaged in Maoist-affected areas on contract basis has also been revised.

Sepoys will get an enhanced allowance of Rs 10,000, havildars Rs 12,000 and junior commissioned officers Rs 15,000.

To strengthen and modernise the police force, sophisticated training and weapons would be provided to the personnel.

Source: The Telegraph, August 5, 2008

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