In their maiden meeting with the police brass since forming the government in Karnataka, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday (May 23) instructed the police to maintain strict law and order and communal harmony in the state, while his deputy DK Shivakumar warned them against “saffronisation” of the department.
Siddaramaiah said the officials concerned will be held responsible if law and order deteriorates in the state and asked them to act against those disturbing harmony through social media posts. He also instructed them to give priority to solving traffic problems in Bengaluru and controlling cybercrime.
“People have elected a new government with the expectation of change. Officials should work to respond to their problems,” Siddaramaiah said. He also directed the officials to take strict legal action against those disturbing harmony in society through inflammatory and provocative posts on social media.
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“No place for goondaism”
The chief minister will hold a separate meeting to discuss the issue of traffic congestion in Bengaluru, his office said in a release quoting him. Drug addiction should be prevented, Siddaramaiah said, as he asked the Hoysala patrol teams to always be vigilant to check crimes.
Directing senior officers to visit and inspect police stations, he said those who come to police stations with problems should be treated courteously, without being looked at like criminals. Siddaramaiah also told police officials that they should take merciless action to control illegal activities within the police station limits.
“Our government does not tolerate goondaism, illegal club activities, drug mafia,” he said and warned of action against the officials if these are allowed.
Ministers KJ George, KH Muniyappa, BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan, MB Patil, Satish Jarkiholi, and senior officials were also present at the meeting.
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Taking officials to task over some incidents in the previous BJP government, Shivakumar asked, “Are you planning to saffronise the police department?” He said it would not be allowed in the present government.
Referring to incidents of policemen sporting saffron shawls or clothes on some occasions in Mangaluru, Vijayapura, and Bagalkote during the BJP tenure, he said, “We will not allow saffronisation of the police department under our government.”
Highlighting the involvement of an official of Additional Director General of Police rank in the Police Sub-Inspector recruitment scam, Shivakumar said, “Look at the bad state of the department.”
He also charged the police with “harassing” Congress leader and now minister, Priyank Kharge, who unearthed the scam by holding a press conference.
Accusing the police of filing false cases against Congress leaders and workers, including Siddaramaiah and him, during the BJP rule, he said, “We do not hold grudges. We don’t believe in that. You change, leave the old. Start the job anew.”
(With agency inputs)