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Indian police protest fitness requirements

Sept. 18, 2004 at 8:06 PM

NEW DELHI, Sept. 18 (UPI) -- Police in the Indian state of Bihar protested Saturday against new fitness standards that impose penalties on out-of-shape officers.

"Our police force should look smart, be educated and serve the common man well. These orders were issued in this perspective only," said Superintendent of Police in Patna, NH Khan.

Patna's policemen have threatened to launch a job action to protest the new fitness regime, the Independent Online reported Saturday.

"They should exercise in order to combat criminals. But they should not be thrown out for failing to do so," said Police Association member Prem Singh.

Policeman Umesh Kumar was also against the policies. "It is wrong on part of the officers to take action in this regard. The belly bulges out naturally with age," he said.

In July, a group of overweight police officers in central Madhya Pradesh state pooled their money for an elaborate prayer ceremony to ask God to transfer their fitness-minded boss, rather than succumb to a workout.

Police Superintendent Rajesh Gupta of Morena in Madhya Pradesh had warned his staff to shape up or face suspension.

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