To keep civilians under the control of law and order demands a display of great discipline. Therefore, the training for the roles devoted to such services often requires pushing the limits, and below expectation performance is punished as well. However, where do we draw the line and what is acceptable are some of the crucial questions to ask.
In a bizarre form of punishment, four home guards were forced to kneel down for indiscipline by their reserve inspector in Odisha. The incident took place in Baripada town during a Rath Yatra when these home guards turned up in the wrong attire.
The four home guards included one woman personnel as well. These guards get Rs. 220 a day for eight hours of work. Reserve inspector, Ashoke Sethi, found these personnel to be in the wrong dress code; therefore he imposed this uncommon form of punishment. He explained his side to the Times of India and said,
I had all but to give them (four home guards) punishment as they never wore uniforms. On Rath Yatra day, I found them wearing khaki pant and a normal shirt. I asked them to kneel down for three minutes only.
Director General of Police (Home Guards), Binoy Behera, ordered Mayurbhanj SP to probe into the matter after a video of this incident went viral on various social media platforms. He ensured that action will be taken after the inquiry is over. Mayurbhanj SP, R Prakash, informed that he has in turn demanded a report from the Reserve inspector in question.
As the investigation is advancing in the matter, Odisha Home Guard Association has threatened with agitation if justice is not served. Association president, Upendra Mohapatra, has stated,
We demand his (Sethi) suspension as his order clearly violated human rights of the home guards.
The home guards have not released any statement or said anything related to the incident. Although Sethi swears by his clear intentions to teach a lesson in discipline, the higher officials seem wary of it as a probe was ordered immediately. Now, we wait to see if this act of punishment lies on the borders of human rights violation.