BENGALURU: With the statewide bandh and Republic Day falling on two consecutive days--and both demanding elaborate security arrangements -- it has left the city cops stressed and overburdened. When The New Indian Express met policemen across ranks, the lower rung personnel said they had "adjusted" with it, while the senior ranked police officials were the ones saying they were "stressed". Most of the lower-ranked policemen said nothing much could be done about it, as that is what they had signed up for in the force.
“We work 12-13 hours. If there is bandobust duty, it will stretch up to 15 hours. So, it does not make much of a difference. However, this time it's a bit more difficult as both Karnataka Bandh and Republic Day are on consecutive days,” said a police constable in West division.
“We were asked to report at 6 am at designated places. For this, I had to wake up at 5 am. We were relieved around 6.30 pm and it took me another one hour to reach home. Again tomorrow (Friday) morning, some of us have been asked to report at 6.30 am at the Field Marshal Manekshaw Parade Ground for Republic Day bandobust. We would be relieved around 2 pm.”
A head constable in South East division said working like this will have an impact on their health and personal lives. “In fact, the real problem is not about working long hours; it is about not getting our weekly offs regularly. Some or the other development will be there and we will be asked to work. And, it's not so easy to get leave while working in a police station. Work without offs is much more stressful than working long hours.”
A police constable attached to Subramanyapura police station said, “I was deployed for a political convention at National College ground and at Lalbagh for some event, a couple of days ago. Again on Thursday, I reported for duty at 5.45 am for bandh security in South Bengaluru and the same timing will apply for Republic Day. We believe it is our routine.”
If this is the lower rung staff’s view, a senior police officer from Central Division said, “It has been a hectic week. Barring the bandh and Republic Day bandobust duty, we have to depute men for flower show at Lalbagh. It is very stressful for the station in charge who has to handle routine law & order and crime developments along with two days of continuous duty. We are mentally prepared as stress is a part of our job," the officer added.
However, many felt working long hours during peaceful demonstrations is nothing compared to communal clashes.