80k cops plan strike as HDK goes back on hike promise

80k cops plan strike as HDK goes back on hike promise

The state Budget delivered a huge blow to the police personnel who suffered a setback for three consecutive years.

Nearly 80,000 police personnel in the state, from constables to Superintendent of Police (non-IPS), are planning to go on strike after Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy failed to keep his promises of pay hike and fresh allowances.

The chief minister’s repeated assurances to hike the salary by 30%, as per the recommendations of the ADGP (Recruitment) Raghavendra H Auradkar Committee, had led to high expectations among the personnel. Even Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, when he held the Home portfolio, said he had recommended 35% pay hike for personnel from constables to SP/DCP cadre (non-IPS).

The state Budget, however, delivered a huge blow, and the police personnel suffered a setback for three consecutive years. A senior IPS officer, who was part of the Auradkar Committee, said it was demoralising for the force.

Now, thousands of constables and officers have launched a social media campaign. They are pressing the Akhila Karnataka Police Maha Sangha to call for a state-wide protest. Founder president V Shashidhar said the police force has been neglected by all governments. “They aren’t treating us like humans. Addressing policemen after the Belagavi session, Kumaraswamy had promised to hike pay. He repeated the promise while congratulating policemen on arrangements at the funeral of Shivakumara Swami. Now, there is no mention of hike in the Budget,” he said.

Shashidhar said the government again failed the police by not finalising the list for President’s medal and not making time to distribute the chief minister’s medal.

A week ahead of the Budget, DG and IG Neelmani Raju had written to additional chief secretary, Home Department, seeking 30% pay hike for at least 16 wings of the department that are classified as ‘crucial’ part of the force.

Home Minister M B Patil said the committee report recommends equivalent grade to policemen like in other departments. “If we give equivalent post, there will be automatic salary hike,” he said.

Asked about the protest, he said, “I know policemen are unhappy. But there is no provision for them to go on protest or strike. I had spoken to the chief minister. He said he had accepted the committee’s report, which went into the Budget. It was dropped later due to some questions raised by the Finance
Department. We will sort this out. The chief minister had repeatedly announced it and we are committed to implementing the committee report at the earliest.”