Vijayan says action will be taken against senior officers if they violate norms in the name of ensuring discipline among juniors
Thiruvananthapuram: Facing a volley of criticism over using police constables to do menial jobs for senior officers at their residences, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan issued another warning against such practices on Tuesday.
The matter had come to light last week after Abdul Kareem Gavaskar, a constable attached to the team of additional director general of police, Sudheesh Kumar was admitted to hospital after he complained he had been hit on the neck by Sudheesh Kumar’s daughter, Snigda.
Police then filed a charge against Gavaskar, on the complaint of the ADGP’s daughter that he had grabbed her hand and outraged her modesty.
The matter figured again in the state assembly when K. Muraleedharan MLA demanded an adjournment motion, pointing that some of the junior rank police personnel attached to senior officials — known in police parlance as ‘camp followers’ — were ill-treated and even being used as midwives.
Responding to the demand for an adjournment motion, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who also holds the home portfolio, said “bathing dogs is not the job of policemen”, adding that action would be taken against senior officials if they violated norms in the name of ensuring discipline of junior cadre officials.
However, on social media, the chief minister was criticised for constantly threatening of action against erring senior officers without actually taking any such action. In the Gavaskar incident, the ADGP was removed from the post of battalion ADGP with no other measure against him.
The chief minister informed the House that a total of 335 police personnel had been deputed for security work for various individuals who required security cover.
After Gavaskar lodged an official complaint, different ‘camp followers’ in the police force have alleged that senior officials have been forcing them to do jobs including bathing dogs, washing clothes, frying fish for dogs, laying floor tiles and buying provisions for officers’ families.
The assembly speaker turned down the Opposition demand for an adjournment motion on the ‘slave labour’ of policemen, prompting the Opposition to stage a walkout.
In a fresh revelation on Tuesday, a member of the police dog squad told a local television channel that he had been forced to care for the dogs at the residences of two ADGPs and a superintendent of police.
On social media, Gavaskar has won praise for his courage to complain against the abuse by his boss’s daughter, while many have criticised the police association for keeping mum about the issue so far.