On Thursday, police driver Gavaskar filed a complaint after he was allegedly beaten by ADGP Sudhesh Kumar’s daughter.

Tied and beaten up Police drivers revelation about senior cop opens can of worms in Kerala
news Police Saturday, June 16, 2018 - 13:13

The complaint by police driver Gavaskar in Thiruvananthapuram that he was beaten up by the ADGP’s daughter has opened up a can of worms in Kerala. 

Police personnel only hope that this would now expose the harsh practices in the police force, by those in uniform towards their subordinates.  

On Thursday, Gavaskar was allegedly beaten by ADGP Sudhesh Kumar’s daughter Sniktha.

Read:  Altercation between Kerala police driver and ADGP’s daughter, both get booked.

Gavaskar’s act of filing a complaint was a brave move, most police personnel believe. 

Ever since the orderly system was stopped in the police force as early as in 1980, for officers above the SP rank, two Personal Security Offices (PSOs) were provided in their staff. But some officers misuse the PSOs by making them do household chores. 

Some officers, if their friends are holding the post of district police chief or similar positions, arrange to have more than two PSOs. 

“Gavaskar was beaten up as if he were a dog after tying him up. He was wearing a seat belt when the alleged assault took place. Today, after we gave a complaint to the Chief Minister, he has directed to get details of personnel who are misusing official vehicles or staff for their personal needs. He has also promised action against the custodians of such vehicles,” Police Officers Association State General Secretary CR Biju told TNM.

Sources say that many senior officers of ADGP and IG rank still have a feudal mindset of reining in their subordinates. The police personnel who are deployed as drivers and other staff for higher officials, from DIG and above- are those from the Armed Reserved camps.

Among the police personnel are ‘camp followers’. Camp followers are assigned for the service of higher officials but in most cases end up doing cleaning and cooking at the homes of the top brass. “Most of the camp followers are hired on  a temporary basis. They don’t have an association like other police personnel and they have comparatively less service. Hence they keep quiet about the harassment they are subjected to, fearing they would be sacked. IPS officers get allowance to employ domestic helps, and yet they use police personnel at their homes as maids,” a source said.

"A top officer was posted at the Crime Branch, Kochi but after shifting base to Thiruvananthapuram, he took his driver along with him. An ADGP has been keeping police personnel as drivers and orderlies, at his flat in Kadavanthra in Kochi,”  the source added.

The higher police officials are allowed to have one official vehicle and one spare vehicle. But it is alleged that most of them above the rank of IG, use at least four vehicles. 

“When they are transferred to another district, they will take their driver along and would use him for unofficial purposes like taking children to school or taking wives for shopping. This has been brought to the notice of the government many times. When Kodiyeri Balakrishnan was the Home Minister, there were strict instructions to stop using PSOs for doing household chores. Since it’s the higher officers themselves who have to implement the government orders, in due course everything will be back to square one,” a member of the Police Association told TNM.

Are officials allowed to use the department vehicles for personal reasons? “Yes, by paying an amount per km fixed by the government through a Government Order. Also, in the vehicle diary, the particulars of personal use are to be written and at the month-end, amount due is to be paid to the treasury. There is a head of accounts for this,” ADGP Jacob Thomas said.

However, how many of the officials follow it, has to be strictly monitored. “A retired DGP asked for a vehicle to go for a wedding. An ADGP’s wife asked for a department vehicle for some personal thing. A retired officer asked IG for official car for her daughter’s doctor consultation,” another source said.

Nishad, District president of Ernakulam Police Officers Association said that with Gavaskar daring to come out with his complaint, they hope that the untoward practices would come to an end. “We are hopeful of the CM saying that no one is above law.” 

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