Unfit Policemen Over 50 to Retire: Concerns of Targeting Dalit-Backward Employees in UP Screening
Lucknow— In a recent development shaking the Uttar Pradesh police force, a directive was issued from the PAC (Provincial Armed Constabulary) Headquarters in Lucknow on October 25. This order mandates the compulsory retirement of policemen over 50 years of age deemed unfit, sparking controversy and concern among the ranks. The directive demands a list of such personnel to be retired by November 30, creating a sense of unease and raising questions about the selection process and its potential repercussions.
This move, seemingly based on assessing the track records of senior officers, has triggered speculations about ulterior motives and biases within the decision-making process, casting a shadow of uncertainty over the fate of many officers. The implications of this order have raised apprehensions regarding the treatment of certain groups and the possibility of preferential treatment, evoking a wave of scrutiny and apprehension within the police force.
The order, issued by ADG Establishment Sanjay Singhal, has been sent to all police departments along with IG Range/ADG Zone and all seven Police Commissioners. It stipulates that policemen who have crossed 50 years of age will undergo compulsory retirement based on their track record. A screening process will evaluate the track records of police personnel, and a list of officers will be submitted to the headquarters for compulsory retirement by the specified date.
An unnamed source within the Uttar Pradesh Police shared with The Mooknayak that there may be a larger agenda behind this order. The source expressed concern, stating, “This is a highly misguided order. This could lead to the selective hiring of police personnel. This seems to be the true plan of the UP government. The screening officers might be influenced to act in favor of certain individuals and discriminate against SC/ST and OBC categories, resulting in their dismissal.”
"When a policeman's family is at a critical stage, with children growing up, their education and other responsibilities are incumbent on the concerned officer. Yet, there's a plan to dismiss them precisely at this crucial juncture. When these officers were initially appointed, they were deemed fit. Suddenly, declaring them unfit for retirement seems unjust. If an officer has been on duty throughout the year, they should not be considered unfit. It’s wrong to declare them unfit during screenings," the source told The Mooknayak.
“There’s a lot of politicking within the department. If a senior officer doesn't favor a policeman, they may push for their dismissal. Those favored will be promoted. This could potentially result in the mass dismissal of numerous policemen,” the source added.
The source further expressed apprehension that this order might easily target Dalit and backward class policemen while favoring certain individuals for promotion.
The order issued from the PAC headquarters on October 25 does not specify the officers responsible for screening the policemen. Additionally, it does not clarify whether female officers will be included in this process.
The Mooknayak attempted to contact Dr. Kalluri SP Kumar, ADG/PAC Headquarters Lucknow, Ashutosh Kumar, IG/PAC Headquarters Lucknow, Aparna Kumar, IG/PAC C/ZONE Lucknow multiple times on their CUG numbers for clarification but received no response. The Mooknayak has also sent queries regarding the case to the concerned top officials via their official emails. Any responses received will be updated in the news.
What defines "unfit"?
In this context, the term "unfit" is not related to the physical fitness of the policeman. The order from the PAC headquarters states that policemen above 50 years of age will face compulsory retirement based on an evaluation of their track record. Their Annual Confidential Report (ACR) will assess their work, character, behavior, efficiency, and qualifications. If the report indicates involvement in corruption or poor work conduct, compulsory retirement will be enforced.
It's important to note that the screening of policemen involves an assessment of their ACR, which evaluates their work, efficiency, character, and behavior, leading to a decision on their continued service. This same process will be implemented in this order.
Male and Female Policemen in Uttar Pradesh
As of 2021, the Uttar Pradesh Police force has approximately 30,000 women personnel, the highest in India. However, this represents less than 10% of the total police force in the state. While the Government of India has aimed to increase the representation of women in the police force to 33%, this target remains unmet. Challenges such as gender stereotypes, cultural norms, and lack of awareness about career opportunities in the police force contribute to this disparity.
Despite these challenges, there is a growing movement in India to encourage more women to join the police force. Various initiatives are underway to raise awareness about the advantages of a police force career and provide training and support to women police officers.