The Chandigarh Polices slogan We care for you rings hollow for Surjit Kaur,wife of Inspector Bakshish Singh who died on duty on January 17,2011. Singh,then posted as Sector 31 Station House Officer,had suffered cardiac arrest while he was trying to control an unruly crowd in Ram Darbar. Work stress reportedly led to his death.
The day he died,his wife was assured by the police top brass that one of her children would be given a job on compassionate grounds. Much to her chagrin,her two representations requesting the police authorities to grant a job to her 21-year-old daughter have been turned down. Surjits fault is that she is serving as a teacher at a government school and,according to the police,she has sufficient funds. The police do not find her case fit for grant of a job on compassionate grounds.
Insulted,a hapless mother of three,Surjit has lost faith in the Chandigarh Police department. With two-and-a-half years remaining for her to vacate the government accommodation,she is looking for ways and means to retain the accommodation given by the police department in Sector 42. As per rules,in case of demise of a police officer on duty,his family can retain the government accommodation for a maximum of five years. A history teacher at a school in Ropar,Surjit is the sole bread winner for her family.
That she is not pleading for a job for any monetary consideration,Surjit says she is begging for a job because she wants one of her family members to remain in police force. My husband was highly respected in the police force. It is my dream to see at least one of my children in a police uniform. I feel humiliated and cheated by a department for which my husband gave away his life, says a teary-eyed Surjit.
Adding insult to injury is the reasoning given by the Chandigarh Police while rejecting her requests. In response to her first written request that her eldest daughter Prabhjot be given the post of an Assistant Sub-Inspector,the Chandigarh Police wrote back,The Committee recommends her case not fit for Group-C post as her mother Surjit Kaur is already serving as a Mistress in Government High School,Devi Nagar,Mohali and have sufficient funds and property also. This was sent to Surjit on August 17,2011.
I always thought that since the top most police officers,including former IG P K Srivastava,have promised,they will act on their own but to no avail. Finally,I approached them with a written request that my daughter be posted as ASI, Surjit says.
Dejected,she got a suggestion from a police officer that if not as an ASI,she should request the police to take her daughter as a constable. Earlier this year,Surjit again got in touch with the police department. The response has been the same. Mother is already serving as Mistress and has sufficient funds and property also, reads the official communication sent by the police,signed by Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Alok Kumar,on April 10.
Sharing her anguish,Surjit says a senior police officer asked her to wait for two years as her daughter would complete her BTech and would start earning. Aap do saal aur sangharsh karo (struggle for two more years) was the response of the officer after hearing which I could not control my tears, says the mother,who is suffering from multiple diseases.
Deploring the conduct and attitude of the police,advocate Onkar Singh Batalvi,the standing counsel for the Central government,said: This is very shameful on the part of Chandigarh Police. If it cannot look after the kin of a police officer who died on duty,nobody will like to work for such a force? Shocking!
Sharing the disgust,advocate Ranjivan Singh,former secretary of High Court Bar Association,said: This is inhuman. What kind of a ridiculous logic is this to deny a job on compassionate grounds?
However,Inspector General of Police R P Upadhyaya,when contacted,said: I will summon the file and look into the matter tomorrow itself.