The Gujarat government’s decision on posting of 5,383 Lok Rakshak Dal (LRD) women candidates in various districts on Saturday has triggered a fresh row with Independent MLA Jignesh Mevani alleging that the government has “vindictively” given posting to those women who sat on a 24X7 public protest against a government order on reservation in districts far from their home.
The state government, however, denied the charges and said that police department is a disciplined force and one has to provide service wherever asked to.
Earlier this year, around 30 women candidates from OBC/ST/SC communities, who appeared for the recruitment examination of LRD vacancies, sat on a public protest for around 70 days at Satyagrah Chhavani in Gandhinagar against the implementation of a Gujarat government resolution that prohibited them from competing within the open competition category of 33% women’s reservation for the recruitment.
Because of the GR, the women said, they stood a chance of not getting selected for the government job, despite having merit. They demanded the cancellation of the controversial GR of the state government.
Later, women who were not getting social reservation came in support of the GR against the females of OBC/SC/ST communities. Eventually, the state government resolved the issue by deciding to recruit all women candidates who scored 62.5 or more out of total 125 marks in the recruitment examination.
On Saturday, the state government allotted city/districts of posting to around 5,383 successful women candidates for the armed and unarmed categories of the posts.
“The state government has acted with vindictiveness against these women. Even when it is fighting global pandemic COVID-19, the state government got time to pick women who protested and gave them posting at faraway places,” said Mevani.
“All women who actively protested against the government have been selectively posted at a place around 500 km away from their home district/city. Allotment of place of posting is a government prerogative. But there are instances in which a woman has been posted at a faraway place from her home district that had vacancies. Even the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t erased vindictiveness from the mind of the state government against these women who fought for their rights,” added Mevani. The MLA also said that the women are not ready to speak up apprehending further victimisation.
One of the women candidates said on condition of anonymity, “We protested and now got posting at faraway places. Now no one is ready to protest as they apprehend that the government may create problem for them in service. What has happened to us is there for everyone to see. But we are going to accept it.”
Another woman candidate said, “We have got these postings after a long fight. We do not want to prolong it any further… the government has been biased against us by giving us posting in remote places. But let it be. We also want to serve the people during the pandemic… the most crucial time to serve the country.”
Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja refuted the allegations of vindictiveness by state government and called it “false”. “There cannot be anything of that sort (vindictiveness) in the system…Police force is a disciplinary force in which a person has to work wherever he/she gets posting.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines