In Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh, reports and photographs have emerged showing police recruits who were stamped ‘SC’ ‘ST’ and ‘OBC’ on their chests during a mandatory medical examination. In India, Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Other Backward Castes (OBC) are subjected to draconian forms of discrimination. This incident of the newly recruited constables being segregated based on their caste has added to the huge list of caste based discrimination in India.
According to a report in Hindustan Times (HT), these marks on the chest were made so as to facilitate the selection norms that are different for SC, ST and OBCs. This naming was done so that the people don’t confuse between what is called the ‘general’ category and the ‘reservation’ candidates. State director general of police (DGP) Rishi Kumar Shukla told HT that there was no ‘bad intention’ behind the act.
It was not clear where the marking happened. The test was conducted by a medical board headed by Dr Sushil Kumar Khare, a civil surgeon at the district hospital. He told HT that he had asked what the ‘O’ on the chest of a candidate meant and was told that it stood for ‘OBC’. Khare seemed to think that the stamping was done at the police department to avoid any ‘mix-up’ and the candidates were then sent to the test.
Discrimination based on caste is a criminal offence under criminal offence under the SC/ST prevention of atrocities act in India. A probe has been ordered into the matter by Madhya Pradesh (MP) police.