Palike staff association crows over success of pressure tactic

In an eyebrow-raising move, the State government ordered the transfer of the Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF) chief, Additional Director-General of Police R.P. Sharma here Tuesday.

According to a Government of Karnataka notification, P. Ravindranath, Inspector-General of Police, Excise Enforcement, replaces Mr. Sharma.

Impact on city

The transfer comes in the wake of a large section of Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) employees going on a three-day strike last week demanding that BMTF’s wings be clipped. The strike had a huge impact on garbage collection and other processes in the BBMP babudom, such as plan approvals, khata transfers and birth and death certificates.

The boycott, organised by the BBMP Officers’ and Employees’ Association, was called off temporarily after Mayor D. Venkatesh Murthy assured the protesters that the State government would come out with a decision “in their favour”.

Among the demands by the protesters was the amendment of the 1996 government order (GO) giving police powers to the BMTF, to make the task force accountable to the BBMP Commissioner, as well as the withdrawal of criminal cases registered against BBMP officials.

Their association’s press statement triumphantly took credit for Mr. Sharma’s ouster, saying it was the result of the “successful three-day strike”. It also claimed that the State government has sought time to amend the GO and the withdrawal of FIRs against BBMP officials. “As a result, the strike which was supposed to be resumed on August 16, has been withdrawn temporarily,” it said.

When contacted about the possible amendment to the GO, the Mayor said he was not aware of any such development.

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