State cabinet in Chhattisgarh on Wednesday gave its nod to an Ordinance that would ensure absorbing the Special Police Officers (SPOs) in the regular police force.
About 5,300 SPOs, the villagers trained, recruited and armed by the state government to take on Naxalites, were left in lurch after the apex court asked to disarm the tribals. Since then, the state government was working on plans to “rehabilitate” the SPOs.
Last week, the state government formally announced to absorb the SPOs in the regular police force by relaxing the eligibility norms. The government also decided to bring an Ordinance to execute the plan.
The official spokesperson of the state government said that the cabinet meeting held on Wednesday afternoon approved the Ordinance that would now be sent to the Governor, Shekhar Dutt for the final approval. “Since the Governor would formally issue the Ordinance, the details of the clauses cannot be revealed,” the spokesperson added.
However, officials with state’s home department said that Chhattisgarh Auxiliary Armed Police Force Ordinance 2011 would help the state government to raise an auxiliary armed police force battalion to absorb the SPOs in the regular force. The government had already announced to relax the eligibility criteria for the tribals to be inducted in the force.
In the eligibility conditions, it had been maintained that the candidate should know the local dialect and acquaint with the terrains---the conditions in which only the tribal youths now working as SPOs can qualify.
Though the Ordinance does not have any reference of salary, officials said that it would be more than what the SPOs were drawing now. The tribal fighting the red army were getting an honorarium of Rs 3,000 per month.