Signalling a significant shift in approach, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has expressed willingness to recruit transgenders into the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF).
In a communication sent to the paramilitary forces, the MHA has asked for their views on recruitment of transgenders to their ranks and sought details of necessary amendments that would have to be made in the recruitment rules of the respective forces.
In a letter sent over a month ago, the MHA had asked the personnel departments of CRPF, BSF, SSB, CISF and ITBP for their views on the matter. Two weeks ago, sources said, the BSF sent its reply, saying it welcomed such a move, and attached details of changes in recruitment rules that would be required to facilitate such a move.
In a fresh letter sent to the rest of the forces on Wednesday, the MHA said, “The undersigned is directed to… say that the comments for incorporating the issues on transgender as third gender along with Male/Female in the rules oCAPF (AC) Examination 2020 is yet to be received from CRPF, ITBP, SSB and CISF.”
The letter signed by Under Secretary S Muthu Kumar deals with the recruitment of Assistant Commandants (entry level for officers). Sources said these recruitments would be made in the general cadre, meaning they would get to operate in combat roles and will eventually rise to command formations at the border and during law and order duties.
“This is a very progressive move after allowing women in combat roles in the forces. When the Third Gender has been granted equal rights by the government in all spheres of society and are already working as government servants, there is no reason why they should not enjoy equality and dignity in the forces, ” a senior CAPF officer said.
While the latest MHA letter went on to ask the IG (Personnel) of all these forces to examine the issue and furnish comments by 9 am on Thursday, sources said the MHA had not received replies from any force barring the BSF.
Sources said the actual recruitment may take some time depending on how fast the bureaucracy moves. “This will require changes in the recruitment rules of all CAPFs separately. The matter will be put up by the MHA to the Department of Personnel and Training after due consultation and approval. It will then need the nod of the Cabinet. The 2020 recruitments are scheduled to start in September,” an official said.
Their have been instances in the past when personnel have applied for sex change in the forces.
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