Ranchi, Sept. 7: Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh today sought the Union home ministry’s intervention in rectifying the CRPF’s recruitment policy, terming it “unfavourable” towards tribal youths of Maoist-hit areas of Jharkhand.
Ramesh, who heads the Congress committee to implement the common minimum programme of the JMM-led state government, sent an email to Sushil Kumar Shinde, urging him to relax the SC and ST reservation rules for CRPF jobs so as to not hinder the state’s fight against Naxalites.
He also cited instances of discrepancies in the current policy concerning recruitments in the central forces.
Around May-June, the CRPF ran a special recruitment process for tribals in the Naxalite-affected districts of Garhwa, Giridih, Gumla, Khunti, Latehar, Palamau, Simdega and West Singhbhum. The drive was aimed at filling up as many as 2,272 posts of jawans.
But less than 10 per cent could be taken in because the recruitment agency didn’t find suitable candidates for the reserved seats.
Ramesh cited the example of West Singhbhum, pointing out that while the ST population of the district was more than 71 per cent, the number of vacancies reserved for the community was only 22, or a mere 7.7 per cent.
In comparison, 4.6 per cent of the district’s population belonged to the SCs, while the number of vacancies set aside for them was 117 (41.2 per cent).
“As a result, most vacancies could not be filled due to non-availability of suitable candidates from these categories. There is visible resentment among ST candidates, who despite meeting all criteria, couldn’t be selected due to a shortage of posts set aside for them,” he added.
A senior security officer in West Singhbhum agreed.
“We have discussed these issues at both the state and Centre level. But it will require a lot of formalities and a major push from the powers that be to actually rectify the discrepancies,” he said, declining to elaborate.
According to Ramesh, the idea behind absorbing local tribal youths from Naxalite zones in the security forces was to wean them away from the rebels. If the loopholes in recruitment rules weren’t plugged at the earliest, all gains recorded by the security forces in their fight against Naxalism would be nullified.
“Much before the actual recruitment process began, local CRPF companies deputed in these areas, as a gesture, had screened youths and trained them so that they could compete better during the recruitment drive. This raised the hopes of many.
“But the reservation policy that was followed during the recruitment process caused a lot of heartburn. Most importantly, since these youths were trained by local security forces, they have been marked out by Maoists now. It will be difficult for them to return to their villages now,” Ramesh pointed out.
Garhwa, Giridih, Gumla, Khunti, Latehar, Palamau, Simdega and West Singhbhum
Recruitments: Less than 220