The Karnataka High Court on Thursday granted bail to V. Shashidhar, who has been accused of instigating the state constabulary to go on a mass protest.
The first division bench of the Court granted conditional bail to Shashidhar upon furnishing a personal bond of Rs 50,000. Under the conditions of the bail, he is not allowed to arrange for a meeting with any police personnel to organise a protest.
Shashidhar is the president of the Akhila Karnataka Police Mahasangha, which was spear-heading a protest demanding better working conditions for the state’s constabulary. He was arrested on June 2, two days before the protest was to take place in the form of mass leave. About 60,000 members of the constabulary had threatened to go on mass leave on June 4.
The Yelahanka police station booked Shashidar and one other person for sedition and the Karnataka Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) for disturbing public order and threatening safety across the state.
The main demands of the Mahasangha included the implementation of an eight-hour shift, a pay hike and a mandatory weekly off. However, a senior official from the home ministry said that if the demands were to be met, the force would have to be increased by one-third.
The state government and the police have since initiated measures to recruit constables, but no appointments have yet been made. Police constables now say that they are getting a day off every week, more regularly than in the past.