THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: At a time when white-collar professions are preferred by job aspirants, a group of
police personnel in Kerala is bucking the trend by opting for technical jobs within the force such as carpenters, cleaners and blacksmiths, ditching the post of civil police officer (CPO) for which they were selected.
As per an order issued by the Police Headquarters on June 25, 100 civil police officers were granted deputation to various technical posts "based on their willingness". Though the list issued from the Police Headquarters predominantly featured men, there were a few woman CPOs as well. The cops currently attached to units from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram were included in the deputation list.
The CPOs were deputed to various technical posts such as carpenter, painter, cleaner, blacksmith, drummer, bugler etc. The posts such as drummer and bugler were created for the police band. Though there is no legal or technical hurdle in deputing CPOs to the aforementioned posts, insiders told The New Indian Express that the aptitude or experience of the cops in these fields was not taken into account.
"The appointments to these posts were handed over to the Public Service Commission in 2010, but they have not created a sub-rule to determine the appointment rules. Because of that, there has been no appointment to these posts in the last nine years. Most of the cops who had opted for technical posts have no experience or aptitude. They want to get transferred to their native places and, for that, they ask for deputation. Otherwise, which policeman would like to work as a cleaner or carpenter?" asked a senior police officer.
Only for a very few posts such as in the armoury, technical qualification including ITI certificate is needed. For the rest, the rule is not clear. In case of drummer or bugler, there is no authorised institute that gives experience certificate. Taking advantage of this, many CPOs request for deputation to the police's band. A highly placed source said most of those who were appointed buglers prior to 2010 produced experience certificates from church choirs because there were no competent authorities to issue such certificates.
"Now, nobody knows whether those deputed have the abilities to perform the role of drummer or bugler. There were no tests conducted to check their capability and that's why we suspect many were deployed just to give them transfers to their desired locations," the source said.
Police Association state president T S Baiju, however, claimed that there is nothing wrong in the deputation. "The deputation of CPOs to technical posts is legal and technically correct. Also, the cops were willing for such postings and hence there is nothing wrong in it," he said.