Home is the best place for everyone to celebrate a festival. But getting leave from work to be with the family is a luxury some can’t afford, especially for those working in the police department.
With the security and crowd management during the festival season topping the concerns of the police officers, the leave applications of the police personnel rarely gets clearance, unless there are truly exceptional reasons. “It feels bad when we turn down so many leave applications. We can understand that they want to be with the relatives. But it is our duty,” said an Assistant Commissioner with the city police.
Officers like him have just had the difficult season convincing their subordinates during the pooja holidays. With the Deepavali season around, the police officers say they are heading into another season when they have to handle a series of leave applications.
“It is always contradictory. It is during the festival season that we need presence of complete strength as there are security concerns. But this is also the time when our personnel want to take leave from work. When rejecting their leave application, I always make sure that their morale is not affected,” says a police inspector.
He says he instead offers leave in advance to the festival to ensure his teammates are not demotivated by rejection of their requests. “From my experience, if the person had just returned from leave or was assured of leave in coming days, he won’t feel very dejected,” the inspector says.
However, for the policemen, especially those is the lower rungs like constable and sub-inspectors, lament that most of the officers are simply unsympathetic when dismissing their leave application. “We apply for leaves as we are eligible to it. But the officers treat us as though we are asking for favours. Constables’ working hours sometimes extend up to 14 hours a day. We understand that it’s difficult to take leave during festival day. The problem arises when officers are hesitant to grant leave even during normal days,” lamented an officer on duty in T Nagar.