Srinagar: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has had its way in the coalition government on the matter of the state’s senior-most police officers.
The JK government announced on Wednesday that it had approved the creation of a Jammu and Kashmir Police Service Cadre, whereby local police officers awaiting promotion as IGs and DIGs will get pay equivalent to DIGs and IGs but not the ranks. Local Kashmir Police Service officers are not eligible for promotion beyond the level of Senior Superintendent of Police. They will stay that way.
The government has also increased the quota for selection grade constables in the police force from 25 percent to 50 percent.
Addressing a press conference in Srinagar, government spokesman Nayeem Akhtar said that the Jammu and Kashmir Police Service Cadre was created during the recent cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
“The work of police is different in Kashmir. They are working in difficult circumstances. Their promotions, monetary benefits were not commensurate,” Akhtar said. Information minister Zulfikar Ali and finance minister Haseeb Drabu were also present at the press conference.
“We have approved in the cabinet meeting to make the pay of police officers awaiting promotion to IG and DIG equivalent to the scale of IGs and DIGs. But they would not have the ranks,” Akhtar said.
The government said this step will help in removing stagnation of Kashmir Police Service officers belonging to various wings/cadres.
The government said there had been a demand for carving out higher scales of pay in the General Cadre of the Jammu and Kashmir Police (Gazetted) Service on the pattern of the officers of the Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Service (KAS) and the Jammu and Kashmir Accounts (Gazetted) Service.
The PDP had put forward a proposal through the home department for reserving two IG and four DIG posts for KPS officers, but the move was opposed by the BJP.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had staged a walkout from a cabinet meeting in Jammu after the BJP opposed the proposal of keeping DIG and IG-level posts for local officers. The proposal was moved by the Home Department headed by the Chief Minister.
Later, to iron out differences, a cabinet sub-committee was constituted on December 15, 2016.
Akhtar said that nearly 50 IPS cadre posts to be filled by departmental promotions were lying vacant due the pending litigation in courts.
“We will ensure fast-track redress of such cases,” Akhtar said.
The government spokesman said the cabinet had also increased the quota of Selection Grade Constable from 25 percent to 50 percent.
“They will get grade benefits. This will boost their services,” Akhtar said.
Meanwhile, Director General of Police S P Vaid has hailed the government decisions regarding creation of Jammu and Kashmir Police Service cadre and also the increase in selection grade Constable quota from 25 per cent to 50 per cent.
Thanking the government for the decisions, Vaid said that it would benefit hundreds of officers and cops. These decisions would boost the morale of police force, he tweeted.