Updated: October 26, 2021 1:47:03 pm
A constable attached with Ahmedabad police was detained on Monday evening after he staged a sit-in protest outside Gujarat legislative assembly in Gandhinagar demanding an increase in grade-pay of Gujarat Police personnel and calling for the formation of a police union, thereby triggering protests by Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
Constable Hardik Pandya, attached with Bapunagar police station in Ahmedabad city, staged the protest on Monday demanding better pay for junior rank police personnel. Pandya was detained by Gandhinagar local crime branch team and taken to their office in Sector 28 after which leaders and workers of AAP and Congress staged a sit-in protest outside the crime branch office on Monday night.
The Gandhinagar police said that Pandya was only briefly detained by the crime branch officer and later let off during the wee hours of Tuesday without any FIR lodged against him.
MK Rana, deputy superintendent of police, Gandhinagar, told The Indian Express: “Constable Pandya was dropped off at his home. He is expected to resume his duty with Bapunagar station from Tuesday morning.”
Taking cognisance, the Gujarat director general of police (DGP) Ashish Bhatia said that those staff indulging in inciting police personnel will be facing departmental action.
After the news of the detention broke out, dozens of workers of Congress and AAP, including senior leaders, rushed to the LCB office on Monday night to protest.
“Open support to the passionate Khaki (police uniform). We fully support different ranks of police personnel who protect common people and yet they are given insufficient salary and treated as ‘pattawala’ by the government,” tweeted Paresh Dhanani, senior Congress MLA and interim opposition leader.
“The revolutionary workers of AAP are present at LCB office in support of constable Pandya. For some time, the police have been demanding their rights and instead of listening to them, the BJP-led government has been suppressing their voice,” said Gopal Italia, president, AAP Gujarat, who is also a former Gujarat Police constable.
A statement was released from the office of DGP Ashish Bhatia which said: “Currently, a few elements are trying to create a feeling of unrest and dissatisfaction among police staff through fake and misleading posts on social media regarding grade pay. The focal point of these posts is the misleading statement that the wage of Gujarat Police personnel is lower than their counterparts in other states. The truth is that under the seventh pay commission, the Gujarat Police personnel are being paid salaries as per the guidelines of the central government.” it said.
A police constable is paid around Rs 18,000- Rs 56,900, head constable Rs 21,700-69,100 and assistant police inspector Rs 25,500-81,800. Apart from this, the constabulary class of Gujarat Police is also paid ‘holiday’ salary in which they are given salary for doing duty on 90 public holidays, including Saturday and Sunday. In a year, this amounts to three months salary. Additionally, police personnel are also given other benefits such as dearness allowance, washing allowance, medical allowance and their uniforms and other articles are also given free of cost,” it added.
The statement added that the families of police personnel who lost their lives during Covid-19 pandemic were given Rs 25 lakh each. No complaint has been received regarding grade-pay yet and action would be taken against those who try to incite police personnel, added the statement.
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