Months after the police threatened to go on a state-wide protest, a government committee has recommended a 35% hike in the salary of non-IPS personnel. Cops however, remain sceptical that it will materialise, even as working conditions remain gruelling.
The Committee to Examine Disparities in Pay and Allowance of Police headed by ADGP (recruitment) Raghavendra Auradkar, was constituted on June 28, 2016.
To arrive at the 35% hike figure, the committee looked into pay scales of police forces in Punjab, Kerala, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and West Bengal.
â€śWe donâ€™t believe that this government is going to do anything about our working conditions. Forget about 35% hike, it will be surprising if they give us even a 10% hike,â€ť said an Assistant Sub-Inspector in Bengaluru, who didnâ€™t want to be named.
After serving in the force for 20 years, the 42-year-oldâ€™s salary is Rs 18,000 after deducting house rental allowance.
â€śMy cousin, who joined the service at the same time as I did, quit the force about five years ago. He is now working as a security guard for a reputed hotel in Bengaluru. He earns about Rs 30,000 a month for just 10 hours of work per day,â€ť he added.
An inspector, who also didnâ€™t want to be named, claimed that the attrition rate has increased in the department.
â€śI heard that in 2015 alone some 3,000 people had resigned from service citing various reasons. Some people I personally know too have resigned in the recent past. What else will people do if they get abused on a daily basis by their seniors?â€ť he asked.
Ill-treatment at the hands of seniors was a major grievance that cops spoke about, when the protest on June 4 was being planned. Although some police personnel have said that they get their weekly day off more regularly, there doesnâ€™t appear to be any real change.
According to Deccan Herald, Home Minister Parameshwara has said the Karnataka police are currently are in the 8th slot in terms of salary when compared to the police force in other states. He said that the recommendations would be implemented after a discussion in the cabinet.
Akhila Karnataka Police Mahasangha President, V Shashidhar, said that the current salary structure was a draconian one and was a serious human rights violation. â€śHow can someone live and work in such conditions? People are not insensible. They will realise very soon and will move on to taking other jobs,â€ť he said.
Shashidhar, who was the man behind organising the police protests on June 4, was recently released on bail after spending 86 days in judicial custody.
â€śInitially we did not compare the salary structure of other states. But, when we learned of the salaries of police in Punjab and Telangana, it was clear that what was happening to Karnataka was unjust,â€ť he said.
Shashidhar said that by increasing the workforce and the salary structure, the state can ease out many of the problems encountered by the police force.
Due to shortage of police personnel, Shashidhar said, it had been difficult for the police to handle law and order during the garment factory workersâ€™ protest and during the Cauvery agitations.
Following the planned police protests, the Karnataka government had assured that it would recruit more police. Recruitments in the state have been held for close to a decade, with successive governments dragging their feet on the recruitment process. Karnataka has a shortage of about 25,000 police, and the state government has initiated the process for about 8,500 constables.