'The Karnataka Story' begins with overhaul in Police force against saffronizationtext_fields
Bengaluru: With a massive overhaul plan within the Karnataka police, the newly sworn-in Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy DK Shivakumar held a high-level review meeting with police officers who have sternly been warned against showing favouritism towards right-wing ideologies and affiliated organisations and their members.
According to a report by The News Minute, the meeting, attended by over 30 officers of Inspector General rank and above, saw the state leaders emphasize their commitment to eradicating any perceived saffronization within the police force.
Sources present at the meeting reported that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah sarcastically questioned why the officers had not attended the gathering wearing saffron attire, highlighting their perceived allegiance to the previous BJP establishment. Deputy CM Shivakumar, supported by the Chief Minister, criticized the officers for allegedly prioritizing the BJP's political agenda over the past four years.
Accusing the officers of harassing Congress party workers and exhibiting biased behaviour, Shivakumar stated, "We have been watching how you colluded with BJP and danced to their tunes. We have proof against you." He expressed concerns about the officers' treatment of citizens with grievances, suggesting that their conduct towards ordinary people might mirror their behaviour towards the political leaders.
Shivakumar specifically admonished officers from the Old Mysore region, cautioning them against protecting activists affiliated with militant Hindu groups. His admonishment was reportedly prompted by two incidents in the region.
The first involved statements made by CN Ashwath Narayan, who had openly called for the Chief Minister's harm. Shivakumar criticized the officers for their inaction against Ashwath Narayan and accused them of working against Congress leaders.
The second incident highlighted by Shivakumar pertained to instances of cow vigilantism in the Old Mysore region, which had often escalated into violence. He accused the police of failing to take timely action against these groups, citing the brutal torture and murder of Idrees Pasha, a Muslim cattle transporter, near the Sathanur police station in Shivakumar's constituency.
Notably, Shivakumar pointedly criticized officers from the coastal region, accusing them of being lenient towards Hindu groups. He stressed that the government would not tolerate partisanship and admonished officers, declaring that no communal incidents should occur under their watch.
During the meeting, Shivakumar indirectly cautioned an officer associated with the previous BJP administration against engaging in political activities within police stations. He highlighted instances such as the PSI scam and accused the officers of harassing the complainant and members of the Congress party.
Concluding the meeting, Shivakumar firmly stated that the government would not tolerate officers setting targets for junior officers to extort money. He warned that any officer unwilling to abandon their old ways would face unfavourable transfers.
Following the meeting, police officers expressed their concerns about the aggressive approach taken by both the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister. They anticipated a ripple effect throughout the department, with senior officers likely to exert immense pressure on their junior counterparts, potentially holding them accountable for any criminal incidents.