In an attempt to improve the mental health conditions of Kerala Police officials, state police Chief Loknath Behera has directed all the station house officers (SHOs) to arrange for yoga classes and other physical activities for police officials, at least four days a week for 30 minutes.
The guidelines given by DGP Loknath Behera, according to a report by the Times of India, stated that all the SHOs should arrange various activities such as sports and games and brisk walks as part of their job. Instructions have also been given to identify police officials who are going through a rough phase, be it in their homes or during work and to provide them with the necessary physical training and counselling.
This decision by the Kerala Police comes at a time when the state police department is under fire for charges of custodial torture.
As per a report by The New Indian Express, the police department will assign senior police officials who are good at communicating as mentors, who can guide and help the other officials when it comes to work and personal life support as well as to counsel them and to clear their doubts. The report states that Civil Police Officers (CPO) will be mentored by senior CPOs and the Sub Inspectors and DySPs shall be mentored by the various district chiefs or unit heads.
Social justice activist, J Sandhya, as per the TOI report was quoted as saying, “The police should implement steps such as an 8 hour duty for better mental health of the personnel.” She said that if the guidelines given by the police department are looked at from the point of view of custodial tortures, it doesn’t make any sense.