50,000 constables in K’taka set to go on mass leave

Raj Kamal Rao
Karnataka Chief Minister siddaramaiah taking gaurd of honour  during Independence day celebrations .

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah taking gaurd of honour during Independence day celebrations .

Protesting against the harassment by senior police officials, 50,000 constables of Karnataka police decided to go on mass leave on June 4. In a first of its kind incident police are protesting against harassment, meager salary and overburden….

Since policemen are not allowed to go on a strike like other government employees, constables have decided to take the leave route.

“Policemen came to me with a plan of protest requested me to lead the movement as there is no platform or fora to fight for their rights .They have voluntarily decided that all policemen should go on leave on the same day send a strong message,” said V. Shashidhar of Akhila Karnataka Police Maha Sangha who is supporting the move of constables told Rajya Sabha TV.

One of the protesting constables keeping anonymity said they are unable to spend time with their families. They don’t get leaves even during emergency situations.

Home Minister G Parameshwara and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah have urged the police no withdraw their mass leave proposal and help them maintain law and order in the state.

“Government will recruit 8,500 personnel within few months. We have discussed salaries matter with pay commission,” Home Minister Parameshwara told reporters in Bangalore.

File picture of Karnataka police constables taking part in a march

File picture of Karnataka police constables taking part in a march

Meanwhile Police heads of all districts have issued orders to all police station heads directing them not to grant leave to any staff on that day. Director General of Police held a video conference with police heads from across districts today, and gave them instructions.

DG has directed the Superintendents of Police not to grant leave unless they have a genuine emergency. He also told them create awareness on the facilities available to staff and convince them not go on leave.

Retired officers say that due to increased manpower demand it is not possible to allow all constables leave of absence Constables are demanding parity of pay with those in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Policemen in Karnataka take home only about Rs 18,000 as compared to their counterparts in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana (Rs 35,000).

BJP has been quick to join the issue and said service conditions of police personnel.

“The state has multiple threats. Government must deal with cops and provide them adequate resources,” said senior BJP leader.

Protesting against seniors is prohibited by police service laws and rules and can result in severe disciplinary action.  The last occasion when policemen went on strike was in 1979 in Bihar which had its impact on Karnataka. Several officers involved in the strike were suspended from services.