To boost morale, home ministry doubles honorarium of J-K SPOs

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jan 02, 2016 13:57 IST
A Kashmiri protester throws petrol bombs at Indian policemen during a protest in Srinagar on Friday. Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters demanding the disbanding of village defence committee, a body of civilian volunteers armed by the government to fight insurgents, after their members allegedly killed three people recently, including a woman and her four-year-old son. (AP photo)

The Union home ministry on Friday doubled the honorarium of special police officers (SPOs) of Jammu and Kashmir from Rs 3,000 per month to Rs 6,000 in order to boost their morale as they play a vital role in combating militancy in the state.

“Union home minister Rajnath Singh has also constituted a committee for assessing the performance, utility and efficacy of the SPOs. The committee will be chaired by home ministry’s joint secretary (Jammu and Kashmir) and will have representatives of state director general of police and principal secretary (home) as members,” said a home ministry statement.

The honorarium is given by the state government and reimbursed by the Centre under the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) scheme. The last enhancement in honorarium was done in 2006.

There are more than 25,000 SPOs in Jammu and Kashmir but those who show exemplary work are promoted as followers or constables in the state police. Many of them are former militants who surrendered and later helped the police in combating militancy.

The proposal for enhancement of honorarium was mooted in 2012 and it was in-principle agreed by the then home minister P Chidambaram. But the proposal could not be implemented.

The SPOs were recruited in the police force at the peak of trouble in the state and proved very effective in dealing with the militancy due to their local knowledge and intelligence network.

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