Check distribution to former Maoist fighters underway
CHITWAN, Sept 16: The task to distribute checks to former Maoist combatants opting for voluntary retirement continued for the second consecutive day on Saturday.
Officials have been distributing checks to former Maoist combatants in all the seven cantonments situated in the five development regions. The task to provide checks started on Friday after the deadline given for combatants to opt for integration process expired on Thursday.
Though previously the combatants were given money in installments, this time they will receive money at one go.
Altogether 1,476 combatants opting for voluntary retirement will be distributed checks whereas other 1,647 have joined the integration process and they are undergoing selection procedures.
On the first two days, 290 former fighters received checks at Shaktikhor cantonment. Similarly, 142 fighters received checks at the first division cantonment in Ilam. Officials at the secretariat of Special Committee formed to oversee the process of integration and rehabilitation of former Maoist combatants informed that they were yet to receive details from other five other cantonments.
Acting Secretary at the Secretary, Madhu Bilas Pundit, said the finance ministry has allocated almost Rs. 889.6 million for combatants opting for voluntary retirement.
He said the government had a difficult time arranging the money for the purpose. "We had earlier committed to provide money because the finance minister had said that the government would take a loan even from banks but the situation is not favorable," he said.
The combatants are given between Rs. 500,000 to 800,000 each depending on their ranks.
In the preliminary selection process, altogether 1,647 combatants have been selected for integration process. Of them, 1,561 fighters are being tested for non-officer ranks while only 86 fighters are undergoing examination for officer ranks, said former Maoist Brigade Commander Gobind Batala.
Earlier, altogether 3,123 combatants had opted for integration process and were staying inside the cantonments.
Those who have opted for integration process in the final stage, have undergone premedical tests and other physical examinations, said Balananda Sharma, coordinator of the secretariat. He added that other tests are underway. According to him, they are planning to take written test on Monday and plan to conclude the selection process and publish the final result on October 7.