The revenge of the state: Constables fear for their jobs

The revenge of the state: Constables fear for their jobs

Submitted by alvin on Wed, 2016-06-15 10:48 Bengaluru: After breaking the threatened police strike on June 4 by promising to take no punitive action, the senior police brass is now picking out the strike activists and strike leaders and subjecting them to departmental inquiry.Hundreds of police constables, who supported the strike, but did not participate in it trusting the government’s promise to deal with them humanely, are now fearing for their families’ future.The Karnataka State Police Association under the leadership of its president Shashidhar called for a silent protest against the department by applying for mass leave on June 4. Fearing a widespread strike, the Home Department adopted a carrot and stick approach, threatening action while promising to consider their demands.The binary strategy worked and the strike collapsed.But constables who tried to raise their voice in support of their demands are in distress, with the damocles’ sword of departmental inquiry hanging over their heads.Sources at the police department said that the inquiry will go on. The list of constables who will face the inquiry has ‘hundreds of names’.On Friday last, a constable in his mid-thirties, who spoke thrice with Shashidhar, was asked to give an explanation faced inquiry by CCB ACP NS Shankaraiah.“I have two kids and am the sole breadwinner for my family. Now I do not know whether I will have this job or not,” the constable told Bfirst.in.“Tell me who does not want a good life? I too want good things for my family, but now my family may pay the price for our cause,” constable added.Another constable, who had received a call from Shashidhar was asked to attend the inquiry at CCB office on Tuesday. After the inquiry for half and hour who came out with tears in his eyes.“As I entered the senior officers room I was threatened that I will be losing my job. They told me they had a witness to my telephonic conversation with Shashidhar,” the constable told Bfirst.in.Not all constables are forlorn. One of them who faced the inquiry, confessed to his contacts with Shashidhar, when he was told they had voice record of his telephone calls. However, he was hopeful. “I am happy that some senior officers are giving me moral support,” he said.Additional commissioner of police (crime) Bengaluru city KV Sharath Chandra said that based on the complaint registered against Shashidhar, department is holding an inquiry on about 20 constables.“We won’t take any action against the constables,” he said, adding that no details of the inquiry would be made public.