April 2018 News

Jammu And Kashmir Wants To Hike Payouts To Ex-terrorists To Rs 6 Lakh

5 April 2018
Times of India
Bharti Jain

New Delhi: The Centre will shortly examine the J&K government's revised terrorist surrender-and-rehabilitation policy that proposes to raise the financial incentive for surrendering militant to Rs 6 lakh payable after a 10-year lock-in period, from the current Rs 1.5 lakh payable after three years. Local BJP leaders in J&K had recently objected to the proposed policy, alleging that it stood to 'incentivise terrorists' and had the potential to sap the morale of troops engaged in fighting terrorism in the Valley state. Incidentally, it is at the request of the home ministry that the J&K government has redrawn the policy in force since 2004 to bring back local Kashmiris who joined militancy into the mainstream. The existing policy was seen as outdated, particularly as the surrender scheme for insurgents in the relatively peaceful north-east region now offers a Rs 4 lakh incentive, to be put in a fixed deposit for encashing at three years, and a Rs 6,000 stipend per month for up to three years after surrender. The new policy in six north-eastern states - Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh - was announced in February but took effect from April 1, 2018. A senior official in the central security establishment said that higher financial benefit of Rs 6 lakh, along with Rs 4,000 interest payable per month to the surrendering militant through the 10-year lock-in period, was in order considering the far higher levels of violence in the state visa-vis north-eastern region. 'The involvement of a third country (Pakistan) in sponsoring the violence in J&K further justifies the higher benefits,' said the officer. Refuting the charge that the better benefits, including an increased reward for each weapon turned in, would bleed the exchequer, an officer argued that militants laying down arms would bring down potential killings, including that of security personnel that involve payment of handsome ex-gratia amounts.