For the first time, the state police has made the knowledge of Madia and Gondi languages compulsory for recruitment in the Gadchiroli district. For the delayed police recruitment drive, slated to take place across the state from next month, applicants will have to clear a paper in the two languages before the physical examination.
This move was prompted by the desire for better policing and maintaining a close network with local residents from the area that experiences Maoist insurgency.
On May 1, 15 Quick Response Team jawans were killed in a Maoist attack. A senior officer from the state police said, “In the recruitment drive next month, those applying to be inducted into Gadchiroli police will have to know Madia and Gondi. This is to ensure that we have more local residents in the force. This will help with better policing if they know local tongue.”
The officer, however, denied that the move was prompted after the attack on May 1 attack, and said the idea was being considered for a while now and had received government approval earlier this year.
The police has maintained that the support of the community that primarily speaks Gondi and Madia is important to counter the insurgency.
An officer said, “Earlier, in the recruitment drive, applicants were required to translate some words from Marathi to Gondi. You could just learn these words and apply from anywhere. Now, we will have one paper in Gondi and Madia languages that the applicant will be expected to solve,” the officer said.
The other papers will be uniformly conducted across the state, after which the Superintendent of Police of Gadchiroli will conduct the fifth paper in these two languages.
“Since the paper will exclusively be in these two languages, only locals will be able to take part. Those who clear these papers will then have to take part in the physical training to qualify as constables,” an officer said.
While officers said the move was primarily for good policing in the area, sources said the move was mainly to ensure that police personnel from the local community would help them form a good network with the villagers.
“In order to fight the insurgency, we will need the help of the villagers in the area. Having people from the community will help them with greater cooperation and information regarding insurgent activity from the villagers,” a source said.
In the past, the Chhattisgarh government had formed the Salwa Judum, a militia of tribals, trained by the state to take on Naxals. It was, however, eventually disbanded by the Supreme Court.
The Gadchiroli district, located on the southeastern corner of the state, has more than 35 per cent tribal population.