For realising CM’s 5T, Odisha cops first need the right SHAPE!

Union Ministry of Home Affairs circular is clear. If an ‘obese’ cop fails to retain the ideal norm by 48 weeks, s/he should be downgraded to P2 permanent. And they are ineligible to be honoured with gallantry medals

Bhubaneswar: It’s quite well said that for a policeman bravery is not the absence of fear, but action (the mastery of it) in the face of fear. And for the rough and tough action, a cop needs to have the bursts of speed and power. For this, one needs to have the guts, not the protruding ‘guts’.

However, the scene sighted during the change of guard at Police Commissionerate headquarters is hard to digest, where a well-shaped Commissioner designate and senior IPS Sudhansu Sarangi was exchanging greetings with senior cops of the Commissionerate Police, who were mostly ‘potbellied’ (watch video).

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had issued a circular in 2017 to all the States for making it obligatory on all cops, and at all levels, to subscribe to the norms of SHAPE – 1, the highest physical fitness standard for cops.

As per MHA, SHAPE-1 is an acronym for S – Psychological, H – Hearing, A – Appendages , P – Physical Fitness and E – Eye Sight. The circular said no relaxation will be given in SHAPE – 1 norms, except in some exceptional cases. The 2017 circular had also clearly advised the States not to recommend obese cops for the police medals.

The ‘P’ of SHAPE-1 has quite unambiguously specified how overweight and obesity is a strict no in police forces. It very clearly underlined that obese cops should be given a time -frame of 48 weeks to attain the ideal level. Failing so, s/he should be downgraded to medical classification P2 permanent, and if failed to accomplish the ideal norm even by 72 weeks, should be downgraded further to P3 permanent.

Most of the senior-level cops in the Commissionerate Police (CP) have excessive Waist to Hip Ratio (WHR) – a yardstick that measures the abdominal obesity. The ideal norm fixed under SHAPE-1 is 0.6 – 0.9 per cent.  Most cops at senior positions in the CP overshoot that norm by yards. Even, the skin fold thickness is far exceeding the norm set by MHA, said highly placed sources.

Despite clear-cut guidelines, the reserve of paunchy cops showed that the police establishment in the State doesn’t pay importance to MHA circular on rising obesity in the cops here.

Many states like UP and Tamil Nadu have already initiated measures to follow the SHAPE-1 circular strictly. Time for Odisha to follow suit, if the Odisha police has the professionalism to take the bullying crime by its horns.