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Police recruitment needs a revamp

It took five lives for the Mumbai Police to realise that they need a less tedious process for recruitment of police constables. The recent death of a 24-year-old youth from Beed proved to be an eye-opener, and cops have cancelled the five-kilometre run that claimed five lives.

Police have also appointed a team of doctors at the camps for its remaining three days. Had these precautions been in place beforehand, the five men wouldn’t have lost their lives. This year, more than one lakh youngsters came to Mumbai to compete for a mere 2,600 vacancies. They arrived from various districts of Maharashtra and thronged the camps in Bhoiwada, Kalina and Vikhroli.

The intense heat and poor amenities eventually took a toll on them as they were made to run for five kilometres in the Vikhroli camp. The rigour of the tests landed several youths in the hospital with dehydration, and during treatment, five succumbed.

This is not the first time cops have had to go through an embarrassment during recruitment. In 2010, a 22-year-old hopeful had died in a stampede — this is the force touted to be next to the Scotland Yard. Taking lessons from that incident, the department took some cautionary steps, and most recruitment camps were seen with a shed and basic facilities thereon. Sadly, the value of a human life was seen to be so little again this year.

Police officials say that since this is a recruitment test for a job with significant responsibilities, the exams are tough. What about the medical facilities in case of such emergencies? The least the officials could’ve done is to keep doctors on standby which they only realised much later.

Some officers who have been part of the recruitment process believe that if physical tests were to be conducted at their respective districts in coordination with the state police, it would be a lot easier for the staff to pick the desired candidates without losing a single life. It is now up to officials to decide what to do, but the process needs to be changed and made better.

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