West Bengal rehabilitates surrendered Kamtapur rebels

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Jalpaiguri (West Bengal), Apr 20 (ANI): West Bengal Government has launched a special scheme at Jalpaiguri to rehabilitate the surrendered rebels of Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO), a banned militant outfit.

To herald this project, a function was organised here when the surrendered persons interacted with district administration officials, the top brass of the police and also the media persons.

They are being trained in productive vocations under a scheme named Rashtriya Sam Vikash Yojana (RSVY).

Biswajyoti Das, the coordinator of this programme said that the initial response has been quite encouraging and they are hopeful reforming almost all the surrendered KLO persons.

Out of the 150 and odd surrendered KLO rebels, 52 have been attending the rehabilitation programme mooted under RSVY.

"Although we have expected around 100 surrendered persons to undergo this special rehabilitation programme, presently we have 52. Actually when the Chief Minister visited Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri and other regions in north Bengal he wished to know whether we have maintained any contact with the surrendered and former KLP rebels. He prompted the Commissioner to lend a fillip to this rehablitaion programme and it has been going on well," said Das.

Das further said that there is ample scope for the former KLO activists to become enterprising individuals in the society.

"Yes, with rupees 30,000 bank loan there is hope for these surrendered persons. We have tried to find out and spot the talent among them to learn some trade or the other like carpentry, tailoring, electrical work etc. with which we could send them to ITI (Industrial Training Institutes) for further training. With the bank loan of rupees 30,000, there is scope for them to become entrepreneurs," he added.

In the public interaction, a couple of the former KLO activists said that they wished to avail more of concrete assistance from the government of West Bengal in addition to training in some trade.

Duringr a span of 15 days they in be trained with farming, animal husbandry and other activities.

The KLO had been one of the major terrorist outfits operating beyond Malda and in the Cooch Behar region of West Bengal. The KLO, prior to its ban, used to train its activists in the jungles bordering Assam, Bhutan and Bangladesh.

The prime objective of KLO was to carve out a separate Kamtapur State comprising six districts - Cooch Behar, Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, North and South Dinajpur and Malda of West Bengal and four contiguous districts of Assam - Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon, Dhubri and Goalpara. (ANI)

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