Karnataka foils protest bid by constabulary to go on mass leave

Bengaluru (PTI): Holding out warnings of strict action and promises to meet their demands, Karnataka government today thwarted a planned protest by constabulary to go on a mass leave.

Police personnel who had threatened to go on leave protesting alleged “harassment” by senior officials, lesser pay and no proper leave were in attendance for work, officials said.

Taking no chances, Central forces, including CRPF, were deployed as a precautionary step.

Attendance of police personnel was “normal” across the city and similar reports have come from across the state, officials said.

Senior police officials and jurisdictional in-charges monitored the developments to ensure that there was no protest by the staff.

Karnataka Director-General and Inspector-General of Police Om Prakash said police are functioning “normally”.

He said “in all districts, all commissionerates police have attended duty. There is no protest….life is normal.”

Speaking to reporters in Mysuru, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah thanked police for not going on strike and maintaining discipline.

Thanking police personnel, Home Minister G Parameshwara said there is almost about 100 per cent police attendance in the state today.

He said “they have some valid demands; government will openly consider and fulfill them. We only felt that that the procedure they opted to put forth their demand was not right.”

Anticipating protest by the family members, security was deployed near police colonies and quarters at different places. Government had threatened to evict families from their quarters if they took part in the protest.

Ahead of the protest, the government promised to consider the demand for increase in wages to be on parity with their counterparts in neighbouring states and to recruit constables to overcome the dearth of police personnel.

However, some organisations held demonstrations at different places in support of the police protest.

Poornima Shashidhar, wife of Akhila Karnataka Police Maha Sangha President V Shashidhar, who was earlier arrested for spearheading the stir, has been taken into preventive custody, as she “tried” to stage a protest, backed by a few organisations, police said.

Bracing itself to deal with the threat, government had brought the state police and related services under the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA).

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