Shashidhar Venugopal, the president of the Akhila Karnataka Mahasangha which is organising the protest was picked up from his home at Yelahanka at 12.30 am today.
Under him around 15,000 police constables were planning to go on leave to protest against the working conditions and also pay package. The Chief Minister of Karnataka had warned that the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) would be slapped against the constables going on leave.
The decision to arrest Venugopal was taken following a high level meeting of the top police officials, the Chief Minister and Home Minister. At 12.30am the Yelahanka police entered his home and arrested him.
They have slapped charges under Section 124 (A) of the Indian Penal Code (Sedition). Further provisions of the ESMA too have been slapped against him. The ESMA gives the police the right to arrest without a warrant.
The act states that any person who commences a strike or takes part in it shall be punished with an imprisonment of 6 months. Those rendering essential services such as doctors, police personnel among others can be booked under this provision.
Meanwhile sources say that the government is considering the demands made by the police constables. The constables have complained about difficult working conditions and low paying jobs. They say they get paid Rs 16,000 for 15 hours of work every day.