Monday, 30th October 2017

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Former Kamtapur rebels now home guards

2nd time in 4 months that rebels are being given govt jobs by Mamata

By Anirban Choudhury in Satali(Alipurduar)
  • Published 31.10.18, 1:41 AM
  • Updated 31.10.18, 1:41 AM
  • a min read
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Mamata Banerjee File picture

The state government has decided to recruit 21 more former militants of the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO) as home guards.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee will hand over the appointment letters at a programme to be held at Tiabon in Matialli block of Jalpaiguri on Wednesday.

This is the second time in past four months that the state will recruit such former militants. In July, Mamata had handed over similar letters to 36 former KLO militants of Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar districts. They have undergone training and will be shortly posted in different locations.

Among the new lot of 21 people, 15 are from Kumargram and six others are from two other blocks of Alipurduar.

The decision to provide jobs to these ex-KLO rebels, a longstanding demand, is being seen as a strategy to prevent the BJP from spreading wings in the district that shares borders with Assam where the party is in power.

Also, a section of these former militants is known to be instrumental in drumming up support for the BJP in Kumargram block.

“Lack of any initiative by the state pushed many of the ex-militants to work for BJP,” said an observer.

The BJP had secured a majority in the Kumargram panchayat samiti and in three gram panchayats. It also won one of three zilla parishad seats.

A Trinamul insider also pointed that the location of Alipurduar district and the Kumargram block in particular, is another reason that the state leaders seem to have considered while making the decision to provide jobs to 21 more former militants.

“We have regular connections with Assam where the BJP is in power. We do not want any of the voters who stay close to the Assam border to get influenced by the BJP that might try to draw parallels with Assam on any issue to build support,” said a Trinamul source in Alipurduar.