THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As many as 350 policemen of the rank of civil police officer(CPO) and senior civil police officer (SCPO), who have been working in specialised wings for more than the stipulated three years, were redeployed at the local police stations within the city limits.
However, the move has not gone down well with a section of the leaders of the Police Association and the Police Officers’ Association. The reason for their displeasure is that some of the leaders, who were comfortably placed in the special units -- traffic and police control room (PCR) -- were moved to the local stations, where they will now have to carry out comparatively strenuous tasks like night duty.
A source disclosed that several of these personnel had been with the special units for more than six years. The cops, who are either association members or ‘well-connected’ with the powers be, are usually posted to the special units. The nature of work and the relaxed work timings are the major attractions for those posted to the special units. Though general transfers are routine every three years, majority of the cops, who have been working in the special units, continued to serve there and some even worked for seven straight years without a transfer.
A source told TNIE that this matter was brought to the attention of City Police Commissioner Balram Kumar Upadhyay. Following this, it was decided to redeploy those, who had completed three years in special units, to the local stations. The objections raised by the association were overlooked.
However, certain office-bearers of the association had to be redrafted to the PCR, following high-level recommendation. A district leader of the Police Officers’ Association and a district executive member of the Police Association, who were posted to Peroorkada and Vattiyoorkavu stations, respectively were the ones who were redrafted to the PCR.
The action of the district leaders of the associations, pressuring the officers to excuse them from the law and order duties, has not gone down well with their state-level leadership. A Police Association state committee member said that it was disheartening to see that some of the personnel were misusing their positions in the association to secure convenient postings.
Commissioner Upadhyay said the transfers were carried out to give equal opportunities to all policemen. “The special unit postings are more convenient than local station postings. My job is to ensure that all cops get an equal chance to work in the special units. Those, who work in special units, are being posted to the stations where they can hone their investigation and other policing skills,” he said.
A source revealed many of those who had been with the special units for long, lacked even basic investigation skills. To make up for that, the police have formulated a one-week course for the cops. Each batch will have a strength of 50 and each personnel will be given four cases to improve their investigation skills.