Kerala’s Idukki police has issued a unique circular to its entire force, ordering all officers and staff to refrain from addressing each other disrespectfully.
“It is very pathetic to notice that most of the ministerial staff members are behaving with their colleagues in a disrespectful manner and addressing each other in colloquial ways as ‘Eda’, ‘Poda’, ‘Edi’, ‘Podi’ (sic),” read the order issued by Idukki Superintendent of Police KB Venugopal on March 1.
The order also emphasised that henceforth all ministerial staff members of equal rank must address each other as ‘Sir’ or ‘Madam’.
“The officers in above rank may also address the subordinate or below rank officers only by their names and avoid using native words such as Eda, Poda, Edi, Podi,” the second point in the order stated.
The necessity for the circular arose as complaints of ministerial staff members resorting to addressing each other colloquially while on duty came to the notice of the Chief of Police, a local source told TNM.
A series of events that occurred in recent times had also prompted the Idukki police chief to issue the order. According to the source, a Facebook post in which police officers from a station in Idukki were found abusing each other did the rounds last month.
“A few officers from a station in Idukki had got into a fight. Following this, they had put up posts addressing each other disrespectfully,” the source added.
The order also observed that most of the District Police Office (DPO) staff are reluctant to address police officers as ‘Sir’ and are addressing them by their names without considering their service seniority or rank.
“The police personnel shall also address the ministerial staff as ‘Sir/Madam’ according to their service seniority,” the order further stated.
Don’t salute for ‘silly considerations’
The order also stated that several senior police officers, even above the ranks of Assistant Sub Inspector of Police, were offering salutes to the staff for getting ‘silly considerations’, and that this was shameful for the entire police force. It asked police officers to approach the Additional SP or the District Police Chief of Idukki if they were not receiving proper service from any of the sections/seats of the DPO.
“If any police officers have complaints on service matters, they can contact the ‘Police help desk’ functioning in the DPO,” the order read.
Session on appropriate conduct to be held
Idukki’s Additional District Police chief has been asked to conduct a session on morale/behaviour for all ministerial staff members. The session must be conducted before March 20, 2019, the order stated.
The order also said that staff, including class-IV employees and part time sweepers, were seen to be addressing senior officers by their names and said that this was not allowed. Further, all junior clerks were instructed to be at their desks during work hours. Leaving the office early was not allowed, the order added.
KB Venugopal clarified that the order had been issued with the intention of improving the overall functioning of the stations as well as of Idukki’s police force.