Trouble began this January

Suicides allegations of harassment by seniors plague the Karnataka police
news Tuesday, August 30, 2016 - 13:20

Discontent across ranks in the Karnataka Police appears to have risen a notch higher with the resignation of a sub-inspector in Karnataka’s coastal Uttara Kannada district. She is the second officer in the past week to allege harassment in service.

Revathi, sub-inspector of Bhaktal police station, resigned on Sunday alleging that her superiors had harassed her. She quit some days after she was suspended for alleged dereliction of duty.

In her letter dated, August 29 emailed to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Home Minister G Parameshwara, she alleges that she was prevented from carrying out her duties against “communal goons” by her superior ASP Anup Shetty. Revathi alleges that she was harassed and demotivated by the officer, especially with regard to communal cases.

In her complaint letter handwritten in Kannada, Revathi refutes the charges on which she was suspended from service. Acting on the ASP’s report based on a complaint filed by a businessman Mohsin, SP Krishna had suspended her for allegedly threatening Mohsin, who approached the officer to file a complaint against six people.

Revathi not only claims that the charges were false but also says that ASP Anup Shetty prevented her from taking up communal cases at various instances. On July 17, she writes, ASP provoked a group of right-wing activists who had gathered at Khoktinagar’s Naga Yaksha Katte, a sacred place, after they were informed of beef being thrown near the place.  

"I have been harassed by my superiors but I believe the higher authorities are good. I have emailed my letter to the CM and HM and I believe they will provide justice," Revathi told The News Minute. 

Other instances

Since January, several instances of harassment in the state police force have been reported from various districts.

Trouble began in January, when a video clipping allegedly of PT Parameshwara Naik surfaced, showing him boasting to his supporters in Hadagali constituency. He reportedly says that he got Kudligi (Ballari district) DySP Anupama Shenoy transferred as she put him on hold when he called her. Six months later, she quit, creating a furore and much confusion. After her resignation, there were several Facebook posts put up from her account, but she later claimed that the account was not hers.

In June, the state government faced a major crisis when the constabulary threatened to go on a mass leave on June 4. Constables who spoke to the media told journalists that they worked under stressful conditions made worse by the lack of a regular day off or leave. They also said that they faced harsh punishment from their superiors.

On July 5, Chikmaglur DySP Kallappa Handibag killed himself in a relative’s house in Muragod in Belagavi district. He committed suicide following accusations that he was involved in a kidnapping and extortion racket and collecting Rs 10 lakh as ransom.

Barely two days after this, the suicide of Mangaluru DySP Ganapathy shook the state, as the officer alleged that the then minister for Bengaluru KJ George had targeted him while he was home minister.

On July 8, Ganapathy was found hanging from the ceiling of a room in a Madikeri lodge. Just a few hours earlier, he had given an interview to a local television channel, alleging that George, and IPS officers Pronab Mohanty and AM Prasad had harassed him.

On August 26, Ballari sub-inspector Gayathri Farhan alleged gender discrimination within the force. She said that female officers did not receive the same recognition as male officers. As the media reported on her post, she removed it, urging people not to blow it out of proportion.

Even as the media reported on Gayathri’s Facebook post on Monday, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah told journalists on the side-lines of an event in Bengaluru, “It’s become a trend for police officers to go to the media after Ganapathy’s death.” 

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