Nitish tells home dept to dismantle ‘caste barracks’
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Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today asked the state home department to find ways to "dismantle caste barracks and kitchens" in police lines across Bihar.
The order followed a report in The Indian Express on Sunday highlighting how the barracks for Bihar's policemen are divided along caste and community lines, and the kitchens are also separated on the same lines.
Nitish had issued similar instructions to then home secretary Hemchandra Sirohi in 2006, but there was no movement on the ground. State secretariat sources said the home department is now considering various options, including allotment of barracks on the basis of seniority. To begin with, head constables have been allotted barracks in order of seniority in some districts.
"Barracks are like night shelters for policemen... Caste barracks is a sad truth," said Bihar DGP Abhyanand. The availability of more space with new barracks coming up in several districts will address the issue, he added.
Jitendra Kumar Singh, president of the Bihar Policemen's Association, said successive state governments have not been serious about addressing caste and community issues within the force. Meanwhile, over 65,000 constables have threatened to go on mass casual leave from October 10 to support their demand for a pay hike.
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