IPS officer’s letter to Karnataka chief secy indicting Siddaramaiah govt creates flutter

President of the IPS Officers’ (Karnataka) Association Rajeev Pratap Sharma says the recent attack on Karnataka Lokayukta Vishwanath Shetty indicates a serious chink in the armour of the security fabric of the state.

india Updated: Mar 12, 2018 16:33 IST
Vikram Gopal
Vikram Gopal
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
IPS officer,Siddaramaiah government,Karnataka Lokayukta
President of the IPS Officers’ (Karnataka) Association Rajeev Pratap Sharma indicted Siddaramaiah government’s handling of police forces. (HT File Photo )

Less than a week after the Karnataka Lokayukta Vishwanath Shetty was stabbed in his chamber, a letter by the IPS Officers’ (Karnataka) Association, indicting state government’s handling of police forces, created political flutter in the state.

In a letter dated March 8, a day after Shetty was attacked, the association’s president Rajeev Pratap Sharma called on chief secretary Ratna Prabha seeking her intervention and called the recent spate of attacks a security lapse.

“I am sure if stronger and professional mechanism had existed, such happenings could have been avoided,” Sharma said in the letter.

He cited four other recent incidents-- including the attempt by a Congress worker to set fire to a Bengaluru corporation office and the assault by Mohammed Nalapad, son of Congress MLA NA Haris, on a youth at an upscale restaurant in the city-- as manifestation of a pattern of the “growing problem”.

“This all indicates a serious chink in the armour of the security fabric and even senior public servants like the Lokayukta... are victim of these attacks in an environment which could be presumed very safe in normal circumstances,” Sharma said.

Calling the police in the state a pale shadow of its past, Sharma laid the blame on the frequent transfers, saying the tenure of senior IPS officers in a particular posting was being reduced to a year. He has also alleged that officers have been punished for discharging their duties, adding that he would cite individual examples in a meeting with Prabha.

“The recent attack on the... Lokayukta clearly indicates that the police officers are only fulfilling their contractual obligations to people in power and not discharging their statutory duty or Constitutional obligation, to which they are duty-bound,” Sharma said.

After the letter was made public by senior BJP leader S Suresh Kumar on Sunday, the state government went into a damage-control exercise.

The chief minister’s office claimed that the association has dissociated itself from the letter.

In a release it said the secretary of the association, Pronab Mohanty, had called chief minister Siddaramaiah and informed him that the views expressed in the letter were personal and that Sharma had not discussed the matter with the association.

Sources in the home department, too, played down the significance of the letter, questioning its timing.

“We have been reassured by the association that the letter was written in Sharma’s personal capacity and that it should be treated as such,” a senior official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

The BJP, which has been conducting a rally called the Bengaluru Rakshisi (Protect Bengaluru) Yatra highlighting the alleged breakdown of law and order in the city, on the other hand came down heavily on the state government.

“Each and every sentence in the letter, I am sure, will be endorsed by every citizen of Karnataka. The letter has raised very relevant issues at a very vital time,” Suresh Kumar said.

Saying that the police system was under strain, Kumar said no government had the right to destroy the administration in a bid to protect its leaders.

“Bengaluru city getting six police commissioners in four years is a telling comment on the system in Karnataka,” Kumar said, urging the chief secretary to agree for the meeting with Sharma at the earliest.

Ratna Prabha said she had just received the letter and would look into the matter.

“I will review the letter and take a decision in consultation with the government,” she said, adding that a decision on the meeting would be taken soon.

First Published: Mar 12, 2018 16:33 IST