J&K CS contradicts MHA over SPO resignations

J&K CS contradicts MHA over SPO resignations

Says only two officers resigned

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary B V R Subramanyam addresses a press conference on Tuesday. DH Photo/ Umer-Asif

Contradicting ministry of home affairs (MHA) over the resignation of special police officers (SPOs) in the Valley, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary B V R Subramanyam on Tuesday said only two SPOs have resigned.

“A couple of SPOs resigning is news. But you must see it in perspective. The state has over 30,000 SPOs and if you compare the number of people who have resigned, it is a negligible percentage,” Subramanyam said while addressing a press conference over the preparation for Urban Local Bodies (ULB) and Panchayat polls in the state.

The statement is in contradiction to Union home ministry’s Friday statement that “no SPO has resigned in Jammu & Kashmir following the killing of three police personnel by Hizbul Mujahideen militants and termed such reports as false propaganda by mischievous elements.”

Subramanyam asserted that the trend of resignations among SPOs was restricted to some areas of south Kashmir.

“For SPOs, the government is going to make a substantial hike to their salaries in next few days,” he said.

SPOs are recruited by the police on a fixed monthly remuneration of Rs 6,000. The wages of SPOs are given by the state government and reimbursed by the Centre under the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) scheme.

The police maintain the SPOs, who are an important element in their strategy to combat militancy.

The chief secretary described the ULB and Panchayat elections in the state as very important and significant.

He said 400 additional companies of Central Armed Forces (CAF) will be deployed for the poll exercise which runs between October and December.

“There are some concerns regarding security for the elections. But I must tell you that we have made very very good security arrangements. We are getting 400 additional companies of CAF which is over and above what is already in the state. This is more than adequate,” Subramanyam said.

He said additional security is being sent to the state despite a lot of pressure for security requirement for elections in other states.

The chief secretary said that adequate security will be given to all those candidates who will contest the upcoming polls.

He said that 300 hotel rooms have been booked in Srinagar for candidates and similar arrangements were made in south and north Kashmir.

Subramanyam also announced one-month additional salary to all the government employees who will be on poll duty.

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