Hundreds of SPOs took part in a demonstration in Dispur on Tuesday
NEWS

Once hired to fight terror, these Assam SPOs now a neglected lot

Tired of ‘hollow’ promises, hundreds of special police officers in state sitting in protest demanding regularisation of services, absorption into 3rd AISF battalion

Guwahati: Demanding regularisation of services and absorption into the 3rd Assam Industrial Security Force (AISF), members of the Special Police Officers' Welfare Society (SPOWS) staged a demonstration in front of the Assam assembly on Tuesday.

Coming down heavily on the state government for not paying proper attention to their long-pending demands, the SPO jawans are now terming it ‘a political conspiracy’ against them. They submitted a memorandum in this regard to the chief minister of Assam on Tuesday.

Talking to EastMojo, a member of the SPOWS said, “Our main demand is the regularisation of services of all SPO jawans and absorption into the 3rd Assam Industrial Security Force at the earliest.”

The SPOs were recruited in 2008 to fight militancy in terror-hit areas of Assam. However, they were left in the lurch after members of the now-defunct militant group Dima Halam Daoga (DHD) were recruited in the state’s police force.

Since then, it’s been a long struggle to find a permanent posting in the state police department. The erst while Tarun Gogoi-led government had assured them of permanent posting by way of constituting the third Assam Industrial Security Force (AISF) battalion within June 2015. However, nothing has happened on ground so far.

The SPOs were discharged from their services in 2015. Since then, there have been several protests, some of them even violent.

Earlier, in April this year, reiterating their demand, about 300 SPOs had attempted to commit mass suicide by jumping from the Saraighat Bridge over Brahmaputra river in Guwahati. However, they were stopped and convinced on the pretext that a face-to-face discussion would be held between them and the state CM Sarbananda Sonowal.

Even after that episode, their grievances have not been addressed so far.