Half done more to do!

The decision of the central government of increasing stipend of special Police officer SPOs from ?3000 to ?6000 is a welcome step and a booster for the personnel working as SPOs. Though the government took good time to reach
this decision but as they say better late than never. The recent announcement of increase in wages has not only encouraged the police personnel who had been fighting in this conflict state since long time on meagre salaries, but this decision will also have lasting effect on thousand of youths who desire to be part of belt force, but could not make it due to less salary. However this decision has sent positive message among the people serving in police that government understands their plight and appreciate their hardwork. But, this is not an end to the saga of miseries people associated with belt force are facing. Besides SPOs, we have Village Defence Committees (VDC) and home guards who had a great role in curbing militancy in the state, especially hilly areas of Jammu division. They were created on the voluntary basis, but the exemplary dedication and determination they showed make them meritorious to become full time paid forces. Jammu and Kashmir is the only state in India with largest military base, but even in this case the role of SPOs, VDCs and Home Guards cannot be overruled. They were greater part of flushing militants out of the state. Their active movement many times failed the nefarious designs of the enemies, so the government must stop ignoring these elements.
One more thing the government need to contemplate is rehabilitation of the families of these personnel. It has been seen that so far government had come up with rehabilitation of militants, but no concern has been shown to these low rung policemen. Strangely, this lot of policemen, even after fighting militants by staking their lives are not entitled for SRO 103. The government both at the center as well as state must come forward to extend an encouraging hands to these personnel, so that they may not feel alienated and exploited.
In addition to this, the government should also felicitate VDCs and Home Guards by regularising those who had served the state for at least five years. There should be proper policy and everyone should be brought into the Ambit of benefits. It should not remain confined to higher ups. The low rung officials also deserve basic right. They should be given minimum wage which may ensure their respectful survival.
Moreover, along with benefits there should be proper check on the functioning of these units and an eye must be on use and misuse of power.
The thing to appreciate about central government is that they did not take time to accept the proposal of chief minister in which it was recommended that salaries of special Police officer working with Police in counter insurgency operations should be doubled.
The SPOs are working in the state for the past 11 years. Since 1996 the SPOs were being paid ?1500 per month. Now the ministry of home affairs has enhanced the honorarium upto?6000.
The honorarium is given by state government and reimbursed by the central government under the security related expenditure. This will boost the morale of the SPOs who play a vital role in combating militancy in the state.
The state government must come with a proposal for VDCs and Home Guards, who are also demanding regularisation and Hike in salaries since long time. The central government must prepare a draft for the same, so that those who had voluntary fought militancy may get rewarded.

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