Published: 30th April 2018
SC/ST caste written on the chests of police recruits in MP prompts investigation
Using the caste category written on chests, the hospital staff measured the height as per requisite height parameters specified for their caste segments
Writing caste on the chest seems to be the new method of ‘categorisation’ of police recruits in Madhya Pradesh. Castes were written on the chests of the new police constables during their medical examination the district hospital was reported from Dhar district, 60 km from Indore.Only after favourable medical test and character certification will these newly recruited constables undergo training for being permanently employed with the district police force and the special armed force (SAF) of the MP police.
With the height parameters differing for General, OBC, Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe candidates, the on-duty police staff and the hospital staff found the bizarre way to identify the caste of the newly recruited constables.
The caste was written as Gen, SC, ST, OBC on the chests of these young men, only to cause a huge embarrassment for the state police and the medical and health department later. The episode comes just 26 days after the state burnt in caste violence which resulted in seven deaths, including six Dalits.
Using the caste category written on chests, the hospital staff measured the height as per requisite height parameters specified for their caste segments. Importantly, as per the recruitment norms, 168 cm is the minimum height stipulated for the General and OBC candidates, while 165 cm is the minimum height required for SCs/STs for recruitment in the district police force and the special armed force. On Sunday, home minister Bhupendra Singh hurriedly ordered an enquiry into the entire episode. SP, Dhar, Virendra Singh and chief medical health officer Dr RC Panika too ordered a separate probe and promised to take strict action against those found responsible.
“It is a serious matter and we have ordered an investigation. No such instruction was given by the police to mention the caste of the candidates on their chests,” the Dhar SP said.Singh said those conducting the medical examination process had told police that the markings were made to tell apart candidates belonging to different categories as the physical requirements for each of these categories were different. “However, they should have used other ways to differentiate. This is a serious matter.” the senior police officer said.
It’s not the first time that such a faux pas has happened in MP. In December 2017, stickers were pasted on the foreheads of women awaiting sterilization at Burhanpur district hospital to differentiate which women had a Caesarian operation in the past. Similarly, on Raksha Bandhan in August 207, two children who came to meet their relative at Bhopal’s Central Jail were stamped with the jail’s official seal on their cheeks by the jail staff.