No segregation, Bihar plans to raise all-caste police units

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SummaryThe Bihar Police have decided to raise specialised units having personnel from all castes and communities, and to dismantle caste barracks and kitchens.

The Bihar Police have decided to raise specialised units having personnel from all castes and communities, and to dismantle caste barracks and kitchens.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had told his officials to find ways to dismantle the barracks following The Indian Express report “Bihar Police: United in khakhi, divided by caste barracks” on October 7.

“We have almost finalised our blueprint to dismantle caste barracks and kitchens in police lines, which continued to exist despite intervention by some SPs from time to time. But we have decided to go about it very carefully as caste is more a social than an administrative matter,” Additional DGP Ravindra Kumar told The Indian Express.

The first step towards dismantling the barracks, he said, is to raise specialised units. “We have started forming a 90-member company, which will have 78 constables and 12 head constables. It will get ration, logistic support and stay arrangements from one central command. It will move together as a specialised unit,” he said, adding this would ensure a balanced mix of policemen from all castes and communities “without being told about it”.

“It will be a random exercise by SP and sergeant major. We have started anti-riot force for each of 40 police districts. Patna already has three anti-riot companies,” he added.

The ADGP said the police have separated law and order from investigation. “Here again, we will have separate units of forces. We have to ensure balance of caste and community in such units diplomatically,” said Kumar, adding that specialisation will help build a professional force.

Another way to dismantle caste barracks will be to allot seats in barracks in a random manner to policemen who are at present being asked to look for space in barracks. He said though every district had a distinct brass number for a constable; he can still be given temporary brass number of another constable in the event of transfer to other district and thus putting in place random allotment system at barracks.

The police have decided to select senior (45 plus age) constables to work as “civil police”.

“The idea is to send experienced people in civil dress to talk to the community and have physically strong ones for tough duty,” he said, adding the move will also help dismantle caste barracks. Construction of a dozen new barracks will help introduce a bed allotment system in barracks.

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