GUWAHATI, April 24, 2018: On Monday, a group of special police officers (SPOs) staged a protest on the Saraighat bridge, Assam demanding permanent jobs.
An attempt to commit suicide by plunging into the Brahmaputra were also made by the protestors, which was foiled by police and CRPF personnel, who had to use force to bring the situation under control.
Special Police Officers’ Welfare Society secretary Mrityunjay Bora said altogether 12 protesters sustained injuries in the lathicharge by police. He said the right arm of Tankeswar Baruah, an SPO from Darrang district, was fractured in police action.
More than 250 SPOs first tried to gather on the bank of the Brahmaputra at Kachari and when they were prevented by police, they reached Saraighat bridge.
The protesters, shouting slogans against the government, breached the barricades put up by police and tried to climb on the railings of the bridge in a bid to dive into the river when police resorted to caning to disperse them.
Kamrup (metro) additional deputy commissioner Pulak Mahanta reached the spot and held a discussion with the protesting SPOs.
“Mahanta invited us for a meeting with the additional chief secretary, home, Alok Kumar, but we rejected the offer since our numerous meetings with the home department officials failed to bear any fruit,” Bora said.
“We insisted on a meeting with chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Mahanta agreed to that after which we called off our protest. If the meeting does not happen within May 5 we will commit mass suicide in Guwahati,” he said.
West Guwahati deputy commissioner of police Bhanwar Lal Meena said there was no lathicharge but only a minor scuffle between the protesters and the security personnel.
The state government had recruited around 900 SPOs in 2008 on a temporary basis on a fixed monthly pay of Rs 4,839 and had deployed them in 11 insurgency-hit districts of the state. The pay was later revised to Rs 8,200. They were mostly deployed to guard vital installations but their services were terminated in 2015.
They are now demanding that all the SPOs be recruited in the Assam Industrial Security Force or against the existing vacancies in the state police.
Source: The Telegraph
Featured image: The Telegraph