|Govt to enhance honorarium of SPOs, Urges them to be careful especially while visiting home|
Early Times Report
Srinagar, Sept 25: The Jammu and Kashmir Government is enhancing honorarium for Special Police Officers (SPOs) of Jammu and Kashmir, who have been helping security forces to tackle militancy.
Sources claimed that Centre has agreed the proposal of the state government which was submitted by the Government headed by Governor Satya Paul Malik.
"Since SPOs have played a vital role in combating militancy in the Valley and due to its popularity among youths, the government has decided to do more for them," sources said.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had enhanced the honorarium of Special Police Officers (SPOs) of Jammu and Kashmir from 3000 to 6000.The state has more than 30,000 SPOs.
The honorarium is given by the state government and reimbursed by the Central government under the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) scheme.
Sources said that the step is being taken after the committee constituted by Home Minister Rajnath Singh assesses the performance, utility and efficacy of the SPOs.
The committee includes representatives of DGP, J&K, Principal Secretary (Home), J&K and IFD (MHA). .
It is to mention here that when the proposal for enhancement of honorarium was mooted in 2012, it was in-principle agreed by the then Home Minister P Chidambaram. However, the then Finance Ministry had put the proposal in cold storage citing fund crunch as one of the reasons.
The SPOs, who show exemplary works, are promoted as followers or constables.
The SPOs were recruited in police force at the peak of trouble in the state and proved very effective in dealing with the militancy due to their local knowledge.
Meanwhile sources said that government has issued an advisory to all the SPOs to be careful while visiting their hometowns following incidents of attacks.
"In view of these unfortunate incidents, police personnel, particularly SPOs, are advised to exercise extreme caution while visiting their homes," said one of the police officials.
Sources said that the three districts in south Kashmir have been categorized as "highly sensitive" for local policemen. Awantipora and Anantnag were termed "sensitive".
Police data suggest that 17 policemen died in militant attacks in the first six months of 2018.
August and September witnessed more such killings. The reports had said that a huge number of SPOs offered to resign in public after militants abducted some of them.
It is to mention here that Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam during a press conference in Srinagar on Tuesday said that government has decided to enhance honorarium of SPOs. "There are 35,000 SPOs. Their monthly remuneration has already been increased to Rs 6000. In the coming day, there will be further increase in their remuneration and their safety is also being taken care of," the chief secretary said.
Over threats by militants for the upcoming Urban and Panchayat elections, the Chief Secretary said that government would make adequate security arrangements for the polls. "Around 400 security companies are being brought from outside for the polls.
There are security issues in few areas of south Kashmir but government will take care of," he said.