Madhya Pradesh home minister Babulal Gaur said on Saturday that pot-bellied policemen were not fit for maintaining law and order in the state.
"You need to be fit for working hard. With such potbellies, it is anybody’s guess how hard police personnel can work. Their present level of fitness directly affects their work," said Gaur, after inaugurating the first police gym at the Bhopal Police Line.
This is for the second time Gaur has pulled up the policemen for paying no attention to their physical well-being.
He had said that if police officers wanted to work honestly and remain stress-free, they would have to step out of their chambers and exercise regularly.
Gaur announced similar gyms would be opened at every district police line in the state.
"This gym will help the police personnel and their family members to stay fit. If they have a gym near their residences, they will definitely exercise," Gaur said.
However, several senior police officers HT talked to said long duty hours and the unpredictable nature of the events they have to deal with every day prevents the policemen from regular exercise.
"The policemen hardly get any time to be with their own family members. How can they squeeze time for regular workouts at gyms?" said a senior police officer, wishing anonymity.
A policeman, who did not wish to be named, said, "Exercising can help us de-stress and take a break from our tough routine. But our seniors have to facilitate our exercise plans, otherwise the gym has no meaning."