Cops to recruit from Gobindpura, villagers say ploy to create rift

After facing flak for 'use of force' against protesting farmers in Gobindpura, Punjab Police has now decide to recruit constables from the village. A police committee, headed by Bathinda Range Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police, Paramjit Singh Grewal and comprised of a Superintendent of Police and two Deputy Superintendents of Police, including a female DSP, has been constituted to recruit `eligible' members of Gobindpura families, who have accepted the compensation cheques for their land acquired for Indiabulls' power plant.

Police plan to recruit both male and female constables. The process will be set in motion on Tuesday through an announcement from the village Gurdwara's public address system, where candidates will be called for physical and other tests, it is learnt.

Farmer union leaders and a section of residents who have not parted with their land, however, see the police move as an attempt to create rift among residents. "It is a move to divide the villagers and indirectly influence those who have not accepted compensation cheques," said a village resident Gurlal Singh. "Even if they give us post of DSP, we will not part with our land," Gurlal asserted.

BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) spokesperson Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan said the police move was only "a ploy to divide the villagers". "We have already warned villagers not to fall in such traps. Already, the company (Poena Power) has recruited 14 persons as security guards on a daily wage of Rs 200. That was also done to upset the social fabric of the village by pitting villager against villager," Kokrikalan alleged.

Meanwhile, DIG Grewal, attributed the recruitment drive in Gobindpura to shortage of constables in the police force. "So, we decided to start recruitment process of eligible members of those families, who have accepted the compensation cheques. Even the chief minister has announced that one member each of such families would be given a government job," Grewal said.

Asked if the police would recruit those who fail to meet physical standards and other parameters, the DIG said there may be some provision for alternate jobs for such candidates in other departments.

Police use force again

Police used force and water cannons to dispel a crowd of farmers who had attempted to march towards the fields, where Poena Power is constructing a boundary wall on Monday. Gobindpura resident Gurlal Singh claimed more than 100 persons, about half of them from Gobindpura and rest heading towards Gobindpura from Joga side were arrested by Mansa police. He also alleged that some school girls were among the arrested. Mansa SSP Surinderpal Singh Parmar, however, claimed nearly 60 persons from were taken into custody but were being let off.

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