A group of special police officers has threatened to self-immolate themselves if their demand for appointment is not met by the Assam government.
The Special Police Officers’ Welfare Society said on Wednesday that the group had refused to listen to its assurance of appointment by the government in the 3rd battalion of Assam Industrial Security Force.
The force has not been formed despite repeated requests by the SPOs and an assurance by the chief minister last February.
Fed up with the dilly-dallying, the group, comprising 272 SPOs, wrote to the police commissioner about their intention of self-immolation anytime between April 20 and April 25.
“On February 14, the Police Recruitment Board sent a proposal on inclusion of the 850 SPOs in the 3rd battalion of the AISF, the formation of which was pending with the home department. Although the government had proposed to appoint 145 SPOs in the existing 1st and 2nd battalions, we had resisted the move and asked for appointment of all 850 SPOs. The process for formation of the 3rd battalion was started in 2012 but the file has been shuttling between the home and finance departments. We demand an early resolution of our demand,” Mrityunjay Bora, secretary of the Society, said.
Two per cent of the 5,500 posts lying vacant in Assam police have been reserved for the SPOs but the appointment process is yet to start, Bora said.
“Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal had instructed the home department to form two battalions on February 1. This has led to a delay in the process. Nothing has emerged within the timeframe of four months given to complete the process,” Society president Dilip Saikia said.
“One group is fed up with the delay and threatened self-immolation. We have requested our colleagues not to take such an extreme step. The chief minister will have to take the blame of any untoward situation,” Saikia said.
Around 900 SPOs, who were recruited in temporary posts in Assam police in 2008 to work in insurgency-hit areas, lost their jobs in 2015.