Leader Writer : Sukham Nanda
Providing part time job opportunities to more than 4000 youths out of more than 5 lakhs educated unemployed youths in the state adopting the policy and concept of state government empowering the youths by absorbing them in so called Village Defense Force or Special Police Officers to assist the law enforcing agencies is commendable, but the concept of deployment of these VDFs and SPOs directly in counter-insurgency operations has now become unconstitutional.
Considering the effectiveness of the service rendered by the VDFs in terms of assisting the state law enforcers, the recruitment of VDFs in every district and sub-division has gradually increased to more than 4000 personnel. The police officers at various police stations impart short term trainings to the VDFs who are now on the line of duty assisting the police while guarding the public places.
Here, the matter of concern arises against the state government’s policy for the welfare of these tireless VDFs who work with no fear under rain or sun or even in the dark for the protection of lives and properties for the marginal monthly consolidated pays of Rs.3000 per month for one year contract. Since the state VDFs performed their duties as what the normal police does and some of the VDFs who have attested at the Police Commandos are still risking their lives by joining in the counter insurgency operations without enjoying service insurances from the state government.
In such situation state government need to consider for proper welfare policy for the VDFs by providing at list basic minimum facilities which other police personnel are enjoying from the state government.
It is also learnt that, many of the recruited VDFs are mostly teenagers, they need proper guidance to improve their moral behaviors, proper classes for handling the public should be taught them apart from giving short terms arm trainings by the concern authorities before they are conferring the power of police in the public places in order to avoid the misconduct of their duties parts.
In the meantime, there is apprehension on the possibilities of mass removal or disarming these VDFs or SPOs of the state if the recent Supreme Court ruling upon the both the Chhattisgarh government and the Centre which declared that the deployment of tribal youths as Special Police Offices, SPOs, either as Koya Commandos, Salwa Jadum or any other forces which are similar to VDFs of the Manipur state in the fight against the Moist insurgency and further ordered their immediate disarming. The said ruling was issued very recently on last Tuesday by Justice B Sudershan Reddy and Justice SS Nijar on the write petition filed by social anthropologist Prof. Nandini Sundar and others, which strongly indicated the state for violating Constitutional principles in arming youth who had passed only fifth standard and conferring on them the power of police.
No one cant’t say the similar directive of SC may not blow upon the state government in the future to come, but list state government need to take precaution by adopting proper policy for utilising these VDFs and SPOs so as to avoid unwanted issues arises out of this VDFs and SPOs of the state.
Since the Supreme Court has rulled out the deployment of tribal youths as Special Police Offices, SPOs, either as Koya Commandos, Salwa Jadum or any other forces at Chhattisgarh as constitutional, the deployment of VDFs and SPOs of Manipur state in the counter insurgency operation directly or indirectly will certainly become unconstitutional. And it would be better for the state government to withdraw all the VDFs attested in the police commandos before the same rulings from the Supreme Court comes directly upon the state government, and adopt the policy to streamline deployment of VDFs and SPOs towards the protections of lives and properties of the public.