25,000 Jharkhand policemen insured (INDIA)
Stepping up its anti-Naxalite drive, Jharkhand government has brought 25,000 police personnel operating in Naxal areas under insurance cover and purchased a new fleet of anti-mine vehicles.
The new policy, formally announced here , will cover state police personnel, central paramilitary forces and army personnel engaged in anti-Naxal operations.
The joint agreement was signed between the police department and the United India Insurance Company, the Oriental Insurance Company and the New India Assurance Company.
Under the agreement, the state home minister Sudesh Mahto gave a cheque for Rs 2.47 crore to Rakesh Kumar, the chief regional manager of the Oriental Insurance Company, as premium for 2006-07.
Kumar accepted the cheque on behalf of the three insurance companies. Addressing the IPS and IAS officers at a function here, the minister assured all help to the police in their fight against extremism.
"If any of the 25,000 personnel engaged in anti-Naxal drive in the state suffers fatal wounds or permanent total disability or loses two limbs or sight, his or her family will be entitled to a maximum benefit of Rs 11.5 lakh," he said.
The insurance benefits would be the same for everybody irrespective of rank, he said.
"Though sixteen districts are marked as Naxal-infested areas, the insurance will cover the entire state," director general of police Vishnu Dayal Ram said. Stating that the compensation package in Jharkhand earmarked for anti-Naxal operation was the highest in the country, the DG said the insurance policy would fulfil the CRPF's grievance that its personnel should be at par with the state police vis-a-vis compensation package.
The government has a Rs 10 lakh compensation package for the family of the state police personnel who die fighting the Naxals and the CRPF has also been demanding the same.
Additional director general of police (modernisation), Neyaz Ahmad, said the Jharkhand police would soon have 120 bullet-proof and 54 anti-landmine vehicles. Orders for mortars and grenades had been placed and delivery was expected any time, he said, adding a group of policemen were being trained by the BSF and the Assam rifles.
Von: 20.04.2006, http://www.business-standard.com