FROM A CORRESPONDENT
Agartala, April 17: The condition of 2002 Special Police Officers (SPO) of Tripura is deplorable. The me ‘Special Police Officers’ was given to them by the government not to glorify the youths but only to evade the law. The force was raised in 2001 when the insurgency was in the peak. After a short course training they were attached with various police camps and played a vital role in identifying the insurgents, their hideouts etc.
They often accompanied the security forces in some daring operations and several of them sacrificed their lives to bring peace defeating the militants. There are occasion when in absence of adequate forces the SPO’s were sent for patrolling areas risking their lives.
Despite all these sacrifice and serving for such a long time along with police and other state and central para-military forces their fate remained unchanged.
At the end of the month they draw a paltry amount of Rs 5000 only. They also go for extra duties like maintaining law and order during election or some other exigency duty for which they never get anything extra. Sometime these SPO’s are sent for refreshers training so that they can render better service to the department but no allowance or meal charge is paid for their stay in the camps.
What is most pathetic is the humiliation being inflicted on this ill fated lot. The first Left Front government headed by Nripen Chakraborty had abolished the British period’s system of ‘Ardali’ at least four decade back.
That has not been revoked by any subsequent government but during this seventh Left Front government headed by Manik Sarkar this practice has returned with its full fury. These SPO’s are forced to serve as domestic help in the house of the officers.
During enrolment as SPO they were given an assurance that they will be given priority during recruitment of constables but only a few got this chance so far. The rest are now living in a state of frustration as most of them has crossed the upper age limit for getting government job.