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UP Government fires 25000 home guards, Is Yogi Government’s decision justified?

UP Government fires 25000 home guards, Is Yogi Government’s decision justified?

Tag:GS-3|| Security|| Tackling Security Threats|| Police

 Why in news?

  • Under pressure from the Supreme Court to pay them at par with the Police constables, the Yogi Adityanath government recently terminated the services of 25,000 Home Guards in the Uttar Pradesh Police Department.
  • Again more than 99,000 serving Home Guards also stand to lose regular employment, as the state government has cut the number of days they are required to report for duty from 25 to 15 days.

Who are Home Guards?

  • The Indian Home Guard is an Indian auxiliary police force (paramilitary).
  • It is a voluntary force, tasked as an auxiliary to the Indian Police.
  • Though the Home guards existed in smaller units in some places, the Home Guards Organisation was reorganized in India in 1962 after the Sino-Indian War.

Who is eligible to be a home guard?

  • All citizens of India, in the age group of 18–50, are eligible.
  • Home Guards are recruited from various cross-sections of civil society such as professionals, college students, agricultural and industrial workers, etc who give their spare time for the betterment of the community.
  • The normal tenure of membership in Home Guards is three to five years.
  • Home guards do not have a fixed salary and are paid based on the number of days they work.

What do they do?

  • The Home Guards will have the following functions:-
    • They will serve as auxiliary to the police, and, when required, help in maintaining public order and internal security;
    • They will help the community in air raids, fires, floods, epidemics, and other emergencies;
    • They will function as an emergency force for such special tasks as may be prescribed;
    • They will provide functional units for essential service; and
    • They will perform such other duties, relating to any measure of public welfare as may be prescribed.

UP Home Guards

  • The U.P. Home Guards Adhiniyam, 1963
  • About 99,000 home guards are deployed in the UP state police.
  • Last year, the UP Police had attached an additional 25,000 home guards.
  • Many of these home guards are posted at traffic intersections, VIP duty, for crowd management at rallies and functions.

Why the removal?

  • The decision was taken owing to budget constraints.
  • Supreme Court had, in July 2019 order, hiked the honorarium of home guards by 33% percent —from

Rs 500 to Rs 672.

  • This would have cost the state an extra expenditure of Rs 10 to Rs 12 crore every month.

Even the remaining HGs will face a pay cut

  • Remaining home guards on duty may also lose regular employment as the state government may decide to reduce the number of their “duty days” from 25 to 15 days a month.
  • Home Guards get honorarium only for days on duty.
  • Big blow for serving personnel before the festive season.

 Criticism of the move

  • The move resulted in strong objections from the Avaitanik Adhikari Evam Karamchari Association of UP Home Guards, which held a meeting to condemn the move. State Secretary Mujibur Rehman Ansari, the association’s general secretary, said that if the government fails to take back its decision Home Guards would stage a protest in Lucknow.
  • Opposition parties also targeted the government over the plan, including Congress, SP, and BSP.

Conclusion

  • The UP government must ensure and should make every attempt that the services of these jawans remain intact. The home guards back and assist the police force and are needed in the police force for security at police stations and traffic signals and in other situations. As the budget constraints are forcing the government to relieve them from duty. The government should lessen the duty days of the jawans so their livelihood is also not affected.

 References