The Karnataka IPS Officers’ Association has written a concerned letter on the law and order situation in the state to the Chief Secretary of the state. In the letter dated 8th March 2018, Dr Rajvir Pratap Sharma, ADGP and President of the IPS association has brought out grave concerns and has questioned the integrity of the system and current scenarios. Addressed to Ms K Ratnaprabha, the chief secretary in the Karnataka government, the letter expresses deep concern and calls for urgent action.
The letter begins with the recent attack on the Lokayukta in his office premises and goes on to list out several other such attacks on serving officers in the state, including female IPS officers. Dr Sharma also lists several incidents where citizens were attacked and government properties were vandalised but there was conspicuous lethargy shown by the police to take appropriate action. He also recalls that in instances like riots over Cauvery water and farmer agitations in the city of Bangalore, the police and the state machinery should have handled the situation in a better way.
The letter further adds that normally the government offices were considered safe places by the people. But unchecked hooliganism has reached to such a point that even senior public servants themselves are not safe. Dr Sharma asserts that the Indian Police Service in Karnataka is merely a pale shadow of its past and it no longer commands the same stature. He expresses concern over the tenure of police officers being reduced to 1 year contrary to the police reforms order issued by the Supreme Court in the PIL of Prakash Singh. The letter states that Indian Police Officers cannot play their leadership roles if they are continuously being punished for discharging their duties.
The letter also alleges that in several cases, investigations have been hijacked at the political behest and this has resulted in criminals losing the fear for police. Dr Sharma insists that he can give specifics of the cases upon meeting. He adds that the specialised agencies under the police have also become redundant due to political interferences.
The letter draws attention to the fact that the Bangalore city has seen six different police commissioners in the past 4.5 years and due to frequent transfers of certain police officers, the continuity, command formation and intrinsic confidence of the IPS officers is at its lowest level. It asserts that attacks on the Lokayukta himself show that the officers are merely fulfilling their constitutional obligations to political powers and ignoring their obligations to the service of the people. Dr Sharma calls the current course of declining sense of responsibility towards the common man by the police officers is a dangerous precedent. The letter calls for urgent course correction and insists the IPS association wants the officers to accept their flaws and return to the path of duty and requests the chief secretary to convene a meeting of all the IPS officers to discuss strategy for the immediate goal of fair elections and the long-term goal of maintaining strong professional values and ethics.
Dr Sharma states that the office bearers of the IPS association are ready to convene a large group of serving IPS officers for the meeting and they are willing to give specific details of the cases mentioned in the letter. He also adds that even retired IPS officers should be called to impart their views and values.