In keeping with the decision to absorb Bastar’s Special Police Officers (SPOs) into the state police forces, the Chhattisgarh cabinet cleared a draft ordinance on Wednesday to initiate the process.
On July 5, the Supreme Court had directed the state to disarm over 4,800 SPOs in Bastar who were helping in anti-Maoist operations. The court had criticised the policy of deploying ill-trained and poorly-equipped youths for a job, in which they risk their lives.
Last week, the government decided to absorb SPOs in the regular forces by relaxing the academic and physical eligibility criteria.
The youths inducted “will undergo proper training and inculcate understanding of laws and human rights,” said an official in the state secretariat on condition of anonymity.
Former chief minister and Congress leader Ajit Jogi told HT: “I have not seen the draft ordinance, I fear its constitutionality may be questioned since the Supreme Court has invalidated the use of SPOs in counter insurgency operations.”