Citing recent instances of corruption, including a police inspector extorting Rs 3 lakh from a criminal, and failure to make progress in major investigations, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah Tuesday lambasted the force in the course of an interaction during an annual conference of senior police officers in Karnataka. He called for arrest and filing of cases against corrupt policemen.
“Is suspension enough for a police officer who extorted money from a criminal? Is it not a serious offence? Why were the policemen who did this not arrested?” the Chief Minister said in his inaugural address at the state police headquarters here.
HAL police inspector Rajesh was recently suspended for allegedly extorting Rs 3 lakh from a criminal.
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Siddaramaiah said the inspector should have caught thieves and protected the common man but himself committed a crime. “Why have you not arrested him and sent him to judicial custody? If you do not do it how will others be deterred,” he asked the seniors.
He also referred to the Cubbon Park Police allegedly extorting Rs 1 lakh from Chinese visitors. Constables Dinesh, Bhim Singh and Venkatesh were suspended for the crime pending a departmental inquiry.
The Chief Minister was unhappy with the way the Bangalore police work. Referring to the April 2013 murder of a Catholic priest at a seminary in the city, he asked why the police had not been able to crack the case. The murder of a jeweller in his shop in Rajajinagar about the same time also remained unsolved, he lamented.
Policemen should cut ties with land sharks and real estate barons and build relations with the common man, the CM said.
Siddaramaiah said the conviction rate in the state was zero due to lack of quality investigations and professionalism among police officers. He said 1,797 SC/ST atrocity cases were registered in 2011, 1,762 in 2012 and 1,925 in 2013 but not one resulted in a conviction.
Siddaramaiah also took the police top brass to task over the botched encounter of Mumbai gangster Munna Darbadar in Gulbarga last month that also resulted in the death of sub-inspector Mallikarjun Bande.
Bande died due to a lack of coordination between senior officers and for want of proper planning, he said. “There was no proper planning to nab the anti-social element, Munna. Had there been a proper plan, the police might have been able to catch Munna alive.’’
The Chief Minister advised the state police to set up anti-suicide squads. He blamed police inaction for the suicide of a farmer suicide in Belgaum last year. “The police should have a wing to deal with those who try to pressure the government by threatening suicide,’’ he said .
Siddaramaiah mooted appointment of senior police officers of the rank of Additional Director General to supervise law and order in every district. He said police officers in-charge of districts should conduct regular inspections and visit sites of major crimes to create a positive impression on juniors.
Monitors at public places to provide info on missing persons
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah inaugurated ‘Samparka’, a Bangalore police initiative to provide information on missing persons at public places, at the opening of an annual conference of senior police officers here Tuesday. Ten LED monitors would be installed at major bus stands and railway stations in the city to display details of people reported missing to seek public help to trace them.
The monitors will also display cautionary messages about crimes and criminals.
A similar system is being used to provide real-time status of traffic in different parts of the city.
In an another highly anticipated move, Siddaramaiah inaugurated “canteen services”.
Policemen can purchase household items from the canteens — opened in Mysore, Mandya, Tumkur, Kolar, Bangalore rural districts, the KSRP campus in Koramangala and police headquarters in Bangalore — at wholesale prices.
The service will be extended to the entire state in a phased manner. Policemen will be issued canteen cards for purchases.
Groceries and other household items will be sold at the canteens at much below the market price.
The Home Department has proposed 40 such canteens across the state.
Policemen in Bangalore will have to wait a while as space is not available for the facility in the city. The city police have written to the headquarters seeking space for the canteen.