Bengaluru, June 3: The mass leave protest planned the constables of the Karnataka could well be a success even if it is not held. An organisation which claimed to have 15,000 constables as part of it had threatened to go on mass leave protesting against difficult working conditions and a low pay scale.
This led to an immediate response from the top brass of the police. First the state police chief issued a statement saying that there was nothing to worry, the grievances would be looked into and also they were all one big family.
This had even led to one journalist at the press conference asking the police chief if he realised that they were one family only now.
Sources both the in the police force of Karnataka as well as the state intelligence unit tell OneIndia that most of the constables may not take part in the protest.
There are two reasons for this- one the fear of ESMA being slapped on them and secondly there has been a certain amount of action taken by the top brass to look into their problems.
Fear coupled with pacifying:
Yesterday a circular had been issued to all the Deputy Commissioners of Police to compulsorily give the constables their weekly off. Further many DCPs have already started visiting the homes of the constables and speaking with their families.
This drive undertaken appears to have satisfied most of the constables. The DCPs has been asking questions about their living style etc. The complaints have been general in nature such as lack of facilities, a broken tap etc. The DCPs have assured them all issues would be looked into in the next two days.
The other issue is of course the fear factor. Yesterday a self styled leader of the constables' association was booked both under sedition and ESMA. A constable earning a meagre Rs 16,000 a month cannot afford such charges. There is a fear that there will be none to support his family if he is sent to jail.
Another assurance that the constables have been given is to look into their pay scales. This however, may take some time since it will have to be vetted by the Chief Minister and the finance department. There is however a proposal to increase their pay scale.
Families could protest:
While it is not assured that the statements by the top brass may have entirely quelled the protest, there is also a good chance of the families taking part in it. While the police constables may not come out and protest, there is a chance that they may send their families out.
There have been some rumours which suggest that the families may take on the mantle. This is largely because the provisions of ESMA cannot be slapped on the family members. Many constables are not ready to face charges under ESMA since it will do more damage than good for them.