Karnataka govt invokes ESMA ahead of police strike

RSTV Bureau
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on RSTV

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on RSTV

The Karnataka government on Thursday invoked the Emergency Service Maintenance Act ahead of the mass leave protest by state police constables. Police arrested the president of Akhila Karnataka Police Maha Sangha President V Shashidhar, who is leading the agitation after government invoked ESMA.

“He has been arrested and sent to judicial custody,” said N S Megharikh who is the city Police Commissioner.

Government has directed all government owned hospitals to not issue any medical certificates to police men without the approval of authorities to avoid the mass leave protest.

Meanwhile, stating that some “outside elements” are trying to create problem within the department, Karnataka Director General and Inspector General of Police Om Prakash said there will be no protest by police on June 4.

“The information we have is that some outside elements are trying to create problem within the police department, but their attempt has not been successful. It will not be successful,” said the DG.

File picture of Karnataka police constables taking part in a march

File picture of Karnataka police constables taking part in a march

Protesting constables said that senior officials are harassing lower level staff and lesser pay. As per the police association, protesting constables are persistent to with the mass 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).

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had asked the force not to get instigated, saying there should not be any room for indiscipline. He also said that the protest has been called by a non-recognised organisation and there should be no room for indiscipline in the police department that has the responsibility of protecting public life and property.