[ Thursday, December 29, 2005 02:26:23 amTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]
PATNA: Policemen belonging to different castes will no longer be seen enjoying meals in their "caste mess." Mishras, Sinhas, Sharmas, Vermas, Yadavs and Paswans will now sit together and eat — a practice unheard of among Bihar policemen till date.
In the state capital and other places, police messes are dotted with caste kitchens. And this practice has been going on for long, from the days of the British rule.
Initially, chief minister Nitish Kumar was surprised to hear about the caste kitchens. "I am hearing about it for the first time. It is surprising and shocking. I will look into it," he said recently.
The CM acted swiftly. First, he sought a reply from the police department to check veracity of the report.
He learnt that the "caste kitchens" did exist and the obnoxious practice had been going on in most of the police lines of the state right from the pre-Independence period.
Nitish ordered that the practice stop at once. "The system is deplorable and a source of caste and communal hatred among cops," he said.