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SPOs rue empty promises from CM, home secretaries

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  29 Jun 2015 12:00 AM GMT

'..., on January 10, 2012 then Home Secretary Jnendra Deo Tripathy assured us that the government would raise the Third Assam Industrial Security Force and absorbed us in that setup. The assurance is yet to see light of the day. In 2014, we had talks with Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. He too assured us of absorbing in the Third Assam Industrial Security Force. Going the extra mile, the Chief Minister even asked then Home Secretary Mukti Gogoi to hike our salary from Rs 4,840 a month to Rs 8,200 a month. Both the promises have been proved empty.' —All Assam Special Police Officer Welfare Association

By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, June 28: Empty promises, right from Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi to subsequent Home Secretaries, have made the future of some 900 special police officers (SPOs) in the State 'empty'.

The SPOs were appointed by the State Government on September 5, 2008 when the State police force was not in a position to provide security to workers working under the NHAI and BGCP in militant-infested Dima Hasao district. Apart from Dima Hasao, they were deployed in nine other troubled districts in the State. The State police force also used the services of the SPOs as and when the need arose. Do they make a one-off force? With the DHD laying down arms in Dima Hasao district, Dispur is relieving them from their service slowly.

Talking to newsmen in the city today, All Assam Special Police Officer Welfare Association (AASPOWA) president Parag Borgohain said: "We are appointed to provide security to NHAI and BGCP workers in Dima Hasao district at a salary of Rs 4,840 a month. We're 900 in number. We were also used to control militants along with the police. However, with the DHD militants laying down arms, 296 of us were relieved from job all of a sudden, without any prior notice. And that led us to form the Association and start an agitation."

Borgohain said: "However, on January 10, 2012 then Home Secretary Jnendra Deo Tripathy assured us that the government would raise the Third Assam Industrial Secuirty Force and absorbed us in that setup. The assurance is yet to see light of the day. In 2014, we had talks with Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. He too assured us of absorbing in the Third Assam Industrial Secuirty Force. Going the extra mile, the Chief Minister even asked then Home Secretary Mukti Gogoi to hike our salary from Rs 4,840 a month to Rs 8,200 a month. Both the promises have been proved empty."

Borgohain said that repeated failure on the part of the government to keep its promises 'led us to resort to agitation but the State machinery disarrayed us'. "Now we're going to start a fast from July 1 in support of our demands. If the police do not allow our members to come to Guwahati from different districts where they are on duty, we will resort to fast wherever we're," he said.

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