The seething discontent among the family members of AP Special Police (APSP) constables, which started at the unit’s Eighth Battalion at Kondapur Saturday, spread to other battalions in the state like wildfire on Sunday.
The wives and family members of the constables had staged a dharna in the state capital Saturday demanding leave for their husbands, who, they alleged, were being made to work in deplorable conditions and were sent to far-off places, including deep forests for months on end. They demanded that the constables be sent to districts near the battalions only. Further, the women also alleged that officials in the battalions, particularly those of reserve inspector rank, were taking bribes to give leave to constables.
Within hours of the first protest, the agitation spread to the battalion in Yousufguda in the capital as well as Adilabad, Nalgonda, Khammam and Vizianagaram and Guntur districts, with family members entering into heated arguments with senior officials. The demands of the agitators across the state was same - leave for spouses.
Families of APSP constables at the Fifth Battalion at Chintalavalasa in Vizianagaram and 13th Battalion at Gudipet village in Mancherial mandal of Adilabad took to the streets and staged protests in front of the offices. At Chintalavalasa, local circle inspector B Nageshwara Rao’s remarks against APSP constables sparked further trouble. Rao had reportedly opined that APSP constables were doing nothing as part of their duties. The angry agitators got into an argument with the inspector and demanded an apology, which the flurried inspector readily gave to quell the women’s fury.
The protestors also asserted they would hold negotiations only with the Director General of Police (DGP) or the home minister Sabita Indra Reddy. Director General of Police V Dinesh Reddy ordered an inquiry by the Additional DG (battalions) .
Home Minister Sabita Indra Reddy also said she would have the issue inquired since amendment to the rules had come to her notice. “We will find out why rules had to be changed and why,” she said. According to sources, rules governing the postings of constables were changed when Aruna Bahuguna was additional DG (APSP) in May 2011-12.
Meanwhile, after talks between the additional director general Gautam Sawang and the protestors, the agitation was temporarily called off after he promised to cleanse the system within two months and three leaves per month to the constables