In a major decision, the Jammu and Kashmir government Thursday ordered screening of the appointments, performance and antecedents of Special Police Officers (SPOs) engaged during the past six years to show door to incapable and undeserving appointees.
The State Home department today ordered constitution of district-level committees to asses and screen the SPOs engaged in the past six years with regard to their appointments, antecedents, and performance from the viewpoint of the job required to be performed by them.
The SPOs are required to assist the police in counter-insurgency operations, intelligence gathering, maintenance of law and order and guarding vital installations.
The district-level committees for screening would be headed by respective deputy commissioners and would comprise of Superintendent of Police and Deputy Superintendent of Police(CID-SB).
The committees will submit report to the Home Department within one month.
According to the order issued by Principal Secretary Home, the DGP shall take concrete steps on the recommendations of the committee to weed out the undeserving and unsuitable recruits.
In August last year, the Government of India had put a blanket ban on recruitment of SPOs after allegations that recruitments were made in violation of rules and on the political recommendations. In the past few years, many SPOs had also joined militant ranks.
Engaged since 1995 on monthly remuneration of Rs 3,000, the SPOs are involved in anti-militancy operations, intelligence gathering and “controlling law and order situations.”
Their total sanctioned strength is 35000. At present, 4000 slots of SPOs are lying vacant.
Before the 2016 uprising, the MHA increased their honorarium to Rs 5000-6000 depending upon their experience.In 2016, the MHA’s had written to the state government that only those SPOs would be retained who are “really useful in dealing with separatist forces and insurgency in the state.