Srinagar: The government has asked Special Police Officers, a quasi-police force in which people are hired for a paltry monthly salary and put at the forefront of anti-militancy operations, that their chances of full-time employment in the police force will depend on their performance.
The Hindu newspaper reported that the SPOs have been told by the government that permanent employment as constables or followers in the police “depends on their performance in counter-insurgency operations”. The other criteria to get a permanent posting are sports activities and educational qualifications.
About 23,000 SPOs are serving in the police currently and, according to the Home department, 3,331 SPOs have already been given jobs as constables under the policy, the highest in Muslim-majority Doda and Kishtwar districts, where militancy has nearly been wiped out.
Most of the SPO force was initially drawn from the government sponsored barbaric militia called Ikhwan-ul-Muslimoon whose head, the notorious singer-turned-militiaman Kukka Parray became a lawmaker in the assembly during the NC rule in 1996.
The government’s policy of fast-tracking promotions and providing rewards for killing militants had led to gross human rights abuses, which cost NC power in 2002 elections.
A senior police officer, Hans Raj Parishar, and some other policemen were arrested for picking up civilians from homes and streets and killing them for rewards and promotions. The cases of Parihar and other accused are under trial currently.