BENGALURU: In a first of its kind in the state, police personnel are planning to go on mass leave on June 4, in protest against the harassment by senior officers in the name of discipline, meagre salary, no proper leaves and other issues faced on the professional front.
It has been learned that more than 50,000 policemen across the state have already applied for ‘Harassment Leave’ on June 4. However, 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.
Akhila Karnataka Police Maha Sangha is leading the movement, which will be a major embarrassment to the state government if it is successful. V. Shashidhar, the Founder President of the Organisation, told Deccan Chronicle that the movement gained momentum after a few policemen approached him with the plan of protesting against the system.
“They told me that all the policemen should go on leave on the same day to pass a strong message to the government and they requested me to lead the movement, as there is no proper forum to fight for the rights of policemen. Then I started working towards it and it gained support from thousands of policemen and also various other organisations,” Shashidhar said.
“There are around 85,000 policemen in the state. In this, 65,000 staff is constabulary, which is the most harassed section. Forget decent salary, they are not even able to spend time with their families. They don’t get leaves even during emergency situations. Even for small issues, they have to face suspensions in the name of ‘disciplinary action’. Their working condition is pathetic as they have to work more than 15 hours at a stretch without basic amenities. This is nothing but gross violation of human rights. Despite repeated requests for the last 25-30 years the governments have not done anything to sort out the issues and even courts did not rule in favour of policemen. Thus, they have reached threshold and are ready to give a clear message to the government this time,” he said.
As it is obvious that the higher ups won’t grant leave on June 4, the policemen have reportedly decided to not turn up for work on that day. “However, they won’t come on streets to protest as they belong to disciplinary force. Instead, we are requesting their family members to protest on behalf of them. Also, various organisations like Karnataka Rakshana Vedike have supported our cause and will join hands with us,” Shashidhar added.
When DC tried to contact DG & IGP Om Prakash to get his reaction, he was not available for comment. Meanwhile, ADGP of the Intelligence wing has directed police heads of all cities and districts to take appropriate action to avert any untoward incident in the wake of this development.