Senior officers may call them the 'backbone' of policing, but a majority of lower division staffers of Delhi Police have been waiting for promotion for 20 years.
Sources say over 10,000 policemen from constable to sub-inspector (SI) rank have been in service for 20 years but have not got a single promotion.
As per rule, constables, head constables (HC), assistant sub-inspectors (ASI) and SIs are eligible for promotion after completing 10 years in service."I have seen IPS officers joining as ACP and then reaching the rank of Joint CP but I am still a constable. After completing 10 years in service, they do change our salary structure. But a promotion helps boost our confidence," a constable said. "If an IPS officer was asked to stay an ACP but his salary was increased, he too will not accept it. Being promoted is a status symbol," he added.
Sources said as many as 6,000 constables who have completed 15-20 years in service are waiting for promotion. Also, 2,500 HCs, 1,000 ASIs, 1,000 SIs and 500 inspectors are waiting for promotion. “It is frustrating. After spending 20 years in service, my designation ideally should have been SI,” the constable further said. Sources said, women constables too share the fate of their male counterparts.
"We cannot complain as senior officers hardly meet us. There used to be a 'Sampark Sabha' for lower staff but that was discontinued. How can you expect your staff to perform when you don't do anything for their benefit?" an HC said.
Accommodation is another problem for these constables as they get only Rs 3,500 as rent allowance. "These things affect us as we cannot live with our family if we are from outside Delhi," the HC added. In Delhi Police, most lower rank personnel belong to neighbourhood state like Haryana and Punjab.