On January 16, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah held a meeting with top IPS officers in the State and expressed his displeasure about repeated sexual assault incidents and the inability of the police to control it. However, the meeting came a day after yet another policeman attempted suicide in Bengaluru alleging harassment by a superior official.

 

Anji, a constable posted at HSR Layout, had arrived at a pub in the area early on January 14 after local residents complained that it was playing loud music. Anji, who was on night duty, arrived at the pub after 1 AM and asked its owner to shut down for the night. Anji registered a case against the owner after he refused to obey the police order.

 

On the following day, the pub owner approached Inspector Simon Victor of the HSR Layout Station regarding the incident. Victor allegedly threatened to suspend Anji in front of the pub owner. Upset over the incident, Anji attempted suicide. He was rushed to a private hospital by his family and is reported to be out of danger.

 

In a similar incident, Srinivas (45), a revenue inspector with the BBMP, committed suicide at his residence in Srinagara on January 17. He allegedly committed suicide because he was being harassed by a local corporator. After his death, members of the BBMP Employees’ Association stated a protest in front of KIMS Hospital where Srinivas’ post-mortem was conducted.

 

In his meeting with officials on January 16, Siddaramaiah warned senior officials to control law and order. He claimed senior police officials had no control over lower-ranking officers. However, the meeting seemingly ignored recent incidents of junior officers being harassed by their superiors and resigning or committing suicide. Instead, the Chief Minister appeared keen on demanding that officials attend to their duties strictly.

 

Watch: Karnataka hit by a spate of Police officer suicides

 

According to statistics from the National Crime Records Bureau from 2003 to 2013, 122 policemen committed suicide in Karnataka, with the incidents being attributed to low pay, overwork and stress.

 

 

Reacting to the developments, opposition leader Suresh Kumar of the BJP said that a mere warning and expression of displeasure won’t work. He declared that the government should focus more on preventing the intervention of politicians and senior officers in police duty to maintain law and order in the state.