Chhattisgarh to absorb SPOs in police

July 22nd, 2011 - 11:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Raipur, July 22 (IANS) Chhattisgarh’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government Friday approved a proposal to absorb special police officers (SPOs) as constables in the regular police force in the insurgency-riddled Bastar region.

The government relaxed academic, physical and age criteria which are to be applicable only for local people in the upcoming constables’ recruitment drive in the sprawling 40,000 sq km Bastar region which is made up of Dantewada, Bijapur, Narayanpur, Kanker and Bastar districts.

Chief Minister Raman Singh told newsmen after presiding over a cabinet meet that government decision to relax rules for local inhabitants of Bastar is mainly to help them get recruited as constables in all the five districts of Bastar.

He stated that the educational qualification for appointment of constables in Chhattisgarh - class 10 for the general category and class 8 for Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes - has now been reduced to class 5 but only for Bastar region so that locals can be absorbed in the recruitment drive.

Sources said that government decision to relax criteria for recruitment of constables for Bastar residents is largely to absorb SPOs in police force.

The SPOs who get Rs. 3,000 a month as remuneration are not the part of regular police force and their use in anti-Maoist drive was banned by the Supreme Court early this month.

Chhattisgarh has roughly 5,000 SPOs whom right activists allege that the state government had armed “non-state actors with AK-47s to kill its own citizens”.

In its order on July 5, the Supreme Court pulled up the state government and said the practice of using tribals as SPOs in the fight against Maoists must stop immediately. The court said the use of ill-trained and unqualified tribals as SPOs was against the moral and constitutional mandate of the government.

By relaxing rules for local people in Bastar region, the government expects about 80 percent of SPOs will be absorbed as constables.

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