Kerala cops to be tailed after office hours

Kerala cops to be tailed after office hours

New norms to bring private lives of policemen under surveillance

“It is clarified that the private life of officers will be subject to accountability to the department as a whole for the limited purpose of ensuring that personal conduct does not prejudice either official duties or the good name of the department,” the order said.

The instructions have come following a spate of allegations against the police. It has come to light that ‘quotation’ gangs (hirelings) were being protected by some police personnel as a result of which investigations into some serious criminal cases were turning into a farce.

There were also allegations that some policemen were engaged in real estate dealings.
The arrest of a deputy superintendent of police in Kollam in connection with the goonda attack on a local journalist seems to have provided the catalyst.

The officer, Santhosh Nair, admitted that he set up the hirelings to teach the journalist a lesson for writing stories against him. The journalist had written that the officer had attended a booze party in a government guest house attended by people from the film world, liquor contractors and criminals.

Another instance was that of R Shaji, a former Deputy Superintendent of Police in Malappuram along with his accomplices abducting a person, strangling him and then disposing of the body by hacking it into pieces and discarding it at different places. The motive for the murder was the alleged illicit relation the victim had with Shaji’s wife.

“Regularly consorting with persons whose business or interests can reasonably be believed to be connected with mafia type activities or with those who have been directly involved as accused in serious cases under investigation or trial; regular alcoholic consumption in bars or public places; visiting houses of ill repute; proclivity for alcoholism, domestic violence, etc. are all activities which will prejudice the  department. Therefore, supervisory officers  must constantly be on the look out whether their subordinates are indulging in such or similar behaviour,’’ the communiqué said.

“For discharging policing functions efficiently, impartially, effectively and with credibility, it is important that our conduct, both official as well as personal, is generally seen by the public as one which inspires confidence in the Rule of Law.

“Officers must not, by their misconduct, lose the respect and good opinion of the public,’’ the order said.  

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