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Two leaders of Karnataka police outfits held on sedition charges

DCP (north-east division) P S Harsha said Sashidhar has been remanded in judicial custody till June 16.

Two former policemen, who were at the forefront of efforts to get policemen in Karnataka to go on a mass leave on June 4 to protest low wages and poor working conditions, were arrested Thursday. President of Akhila Karnataka Police Mahasangha V Sashidhar was arrested at his Bengaluru home, while Basavaraj Koravankar of Working Police Families Welfare Committee was arrested in Dharwad. The two have been booked under various charges, including sedition.

DCP (north-east division) P S Harsha said Sashidhar has been remanded in judicial custody till June 16. He has been booked under IPC Sections 124A (sedition) and 166 (public servant disobeying law) read with IPC Section 109; as well as relevant sections of Police Forces (Restriction of Rights) Act, 1966, and Essential Services Maintenance Act.

Karnataka DGP and IGP Om Prakash told reporters Thursday that no indiscipline in the force will be tolerated. “We will not spare anybody who tries to create indiscipline in the disciplined police force. We have registered cases against these two and arrested them,” he said.

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Prakash said Sashidhar and Koravankar had been dismissed from the force a long time ago. He added that to prevent policemen from going on mass leave, SPs and IGs were talking to them and trying to address their grievances.

“We admit that there are grievances and they will be resolved amicably. There is no need for the disciplined police force to stage any protest,” he said.
As of Thursday, nearly 6000 of the 68,000 policemen in state are reported to have applied for leave on Saturday to join the protest. Police sources, however, said many of them have been convinced by the police top brass to withdraw their applications. A few days ago, Sashidhar had claimed that as many as 50,000 policemen had agreed to go on leave.

The state government had Wednesday invoked the Karnataka Essential Services Maintenance Act (KESMA), warning policemen of arrests if they staged protests Saturday.

First published on: 03-06-2016 at 02:47 IST
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