Chhattisgarh to absorb SPOs into police force | india | Hindustan Times
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Chhattisgarh to absorb SPOs into police force

The Raman Singh government of Chhattisgarh on Friday decided to absorb Special Police Officers (SPOs) into the state police force by relaxing the educational and physical eligibility criteria.

india Updated: Jul 24, 2011 00:33 IST
Ejaz Kaiser

The Raman Singh government of Chhattisgarh on Friday decided to absorb Special Police Officers (SPOs) into the state police force by relaxing the educational and physical eligibility criteria.

The academic eligibility criteria have been relaxed from Class X pass (general) or Class VIII pass (SC/ST) to Class V pass. Similarly, the requirement of minimum height of 168 cm (general) or 153 cm (SC/ST) has been reduced to 163 cm and 150 cm, respectively.

The move comes after Supreme Court's July 5 ruling directing the state to disarm nearly 4,800 SPOs in the Bastar region, who were working as adjunct policemen for anti-Maoists operations.

After the cabinet decision, the CM told the media the move will enable nearly 80% SPOs to become constables. The remaining 20% would be given a chance to fulfill the requisite norms. The decision would be applicable only in Bastar and that too for the next three years..

SPOs have welcomed the gesture. "We were much concerned about our future. Now we are happy to know the state has paved the way for us to be part of the regular police force and continue our fight against Maoists," said Sargam Singa (25) in Tonkpal, Dantewada.

Another SPO, Soyam Mukka (35) in Dantewada, said, "Threat always existed for us since we are on the hit list of Maoists. Now we can get suitable training and arms to fight."

A senior police officer in Jagdalpur, who did not wish to be identified, welcomed the state government decision.

State home minister Nanki Ram Kanwar told HT his government was committed to ensuring the safety and security of all SPOs and using their potential. "We are serious when it comes to countering Maoist violence... the state is committed to do whatever possible to absorb the SPOs."

Brigadier (rtd) BK Ponwar, director of College of Jungle Warfare and Counter Insurgency, Kanker, said, "I found excellent soldier material in these SPOs. They are young, tough, agile, fearless and can be good guerilla fighters."