No state cops in Prez medal list, thanks to govt apathy

Last Updated 25 January 2019, 20:24 IST

The JD(S)-Congress coalition government is so busy keeping its flock together that it has completely forgotten to send the list of police personnel selected for the President’s Medal to the Centre.

Karnataka does not feature in the list finalised by the Centre for awarding police officers President’s Medal on the occasion of Republic Day for their meritorious/distinguished and gallantry services, despite the department recommending 41 names, including 10 IPS officers.

And this lapse has come after the Karnataka Police were successful in cracking senior journalist Gauri Lankesh murder case and gave vital clues to the Maharashtra SIT and even the CBI into the rationalists’ murder cases.

Sources in the DG&IG’s office told DH that the police department had called for applications in September last year and hundreds of officers had applied.

A committee finalised 41 names and sent the list to the state government in September itself. The state government had to send the list to the Centre by the first week of December, but it is still pending.

Sources in the government, however, say that the list was not sent as a stay order was issued by the Karnataka High Court after a senior IPS officer filed a petition because his name was not included in the list.

Highly placed sources in the police department say the stay order never came in the way of sending the list.

Sources in the police department say that a couple of senior officers opposed the list as their names were missing and are now trying to include their names by putting political pressure. There is also competition between the Congress and JD(S) MLAs and ministers to include their officers in the list.

Recently, there was a minor rejig of the Cabinet and Congress leader M B Patil became the new home minister. Also, resort politics, which has taken so much time away from governance, resulted in the delay.

Interestingly, the state government has also failed in distributing medals to the 2017 Independence Day, 2018 Republic Day and 2018 Independence Day gallantry medal winners at a formal function.

The Centre usually sends medals and certificates to the state governments concerned, which have to in turn distribute it among the winners.

V Shashidhar, president of Akhila Karnataka Police Mahasangha, said, “...this is an insult to efficient police officers and the officers have lost hope. They (politicians) have a lot of time to stay in resorts, party, fight and even go for a movie, but they have no time for police officers who maintain law and order in society.”

Cops miss out on CM’s medal too

The previous Congress government had selected 122 police officers for the Chief Minister’s Medal for the year 2017-2018 and were scheduled to be honoured on the Police Flag Day - April 2. But due to the model code of conduct, the programme could not be held.

After the JD(S)-Congress coalition government came into power, the awardees were in a state of confusion that the previous list would be rejected. To ease their anxiety, DG&IGP Neelmani Raju had organised a lunch last month and congratulated the winners, but there is still no sign of them receiving the medals. And now, the department has called for fresh applications for chief minister’s medals for the year 2018-19.

(Published 25 January 2019, 19:14 IST)

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