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Kerala: 88 cops committed suicide in 5 years; Opposition cites 'excessive workload' in Assembly

The Kerala Assembly discussed serious issues regarding police welfare, including high suicide rates among officers and inadequate working conditions. Opposition leader V D Satheesan criticized alleged political interference in police operations.

Kerala: 88 cops committed suicide in 5 years; Opposition cites 'excessive workload' in Assembly anr
First Published Jul 1, 2024, 12:07 PM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: The Opposition in the state's Assembly raised concerns about the workload and mental pressure faced by police officers. They cited alarming statistics, noting that 88 policemen had committed suicide in the past five years, including five within six days. PC Vishnu Nath, who raised an urgent motion notice, expressed skepticism that new plans would effectively address the ongoing challenges within the police force.

118 policemen's workload is handled by 44 individuals at one station, with inadequate restroom facilities for women officers. Police stations operate in cramped conditions across the state. PC Vishnu Nath read the suicide note of the deceased policeman Jobidas in the Assembly, highlighting his advice to his children to pursue careers outside of the police force. 

In response, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan mentioned the introduction of yoga sessions aimed at alleviating mental pressure among police officers.

The Chief Minister mentioned a special action plan to help individuals with alcohol addiction and said the presence of a mentoring system within police stations. He also said that the 8-hour duty time cannot be implemented swiftly.

"The government is taking steps to reduce the workload by adding technology. The stress that comes as part of the job cannot be completely avoided. It will be seriously checked if there is any problem in the police force," he said.  

The Chief Minister also asked that there should be no measures to break the morale of the policemen.

Opposition leader V D Satheesan said that the mental stress of the policeman is even affecting law and order. He alleged that district police chiefs are influenced by CPM district secretaries and that Station House Officers (SHOs) are managed by the Area Committee, suggesting that the party exerts control over the state police.

The Opposition walked out of the Assembly protesting the denial of permission for an urgent motion.

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