Four Odisha home guards forced to kneel for ‘indiscipline’, probe ordered
The directive came after photographs of the kneeling home guards went viral on the social media.Updated: Jun 28, 2017 18:08 IST
Odisha police on Wednesday asked Mayurbhanj superintendent of police (SP) R Prakash to probe reports of four home guards, including a woman, being forced to kneel down by their reserve inspector for alleged indiscipline in Baripada town recently.
The directive came after photographs of the kneeling home guards went viral on social media.
Inspector general of police (home guards and fire services) Santosh Bala told HT that director general of police (home guards) Binoy Behera ordered the inquiry after the incident, which occurred on June 25, was brought to his notice. “Action will be taken as per the inquiry report,” she said.
The photographs accessed by HT show three men home guards kneeling on the gravel and their woman counterpart crouching beside a police jeep. All four are in full uniform.
Sources said reserve inspector Ashok Sethi meted out the punishment inside his office compound because he was unhappy with the security arrangements made by the home guards for a Rath Yatra in the town. The four personnel, who get Rs 220 a day for eight hours of work, were reportedly not in uniform when they turned up for duty.
Neither Sethi nor the four home guards were available for comment.
Odisha has 17,675 home guards, of whom 16,405 are men. Home guards serve as an auxiliary force to the police force, and are utilised for election and law-and-order duties. Personnel are reappointed by a board on the completion of three years as a home guard, based on their suitability and efficiency.
In September, Sandeep Hati, a 45-year-old home guard, set himself on fire in front of chief minister Naveen Patnaik’s residence after he was dismissed from service for participating in a protest rally. He succumbed to burns eight days later.