KOLKATA: The Mamata Banerjee government has announced a slew of benefits for lower rung policemen, including 5,400 junior constables who were recruited in Jangalmahal on contract basis, to stop their shift to Maoist ideology.
The benefits come at a time when the ruling Trianamool Congress is keen to regain its erstwhile citadel in Jangalmahal where the BJP made deep inroads in the last year’s general election.
“All 5,400 junior constables posted in Jhargram, Purulia, Bankura, West Midnapore and Birbhum districts will be promoted to the rank of full-fledged constables. They will be eligible for all facilities due to a constable,’’ said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
These constables were recruited from these five districts in 2011, and this arrangement was confined to Jangalmahal.
Sources in the state secretariat said the ruling party depends on these junior constables because they play a crucial role in gathering ground-level intelligence.
“These constables were recruits from all villages in the region. The Maoists are trying to regroup now. The objective of the recruitment was to stop them from joining the outlawed outfit, which had a significant influence in the area in 2011,’’ said a government official.
The CM has also announced Rs 3 lakh retirement benefits for civic volunteers, an increase in daily wages for home guards from Rs 480 to Rs 548 and a bonus of Rs 2,000 for civic and village police volunteers.