The families of APSP battalions in Kadapa, Vizianagaram, Adilabad, Nalgonda and Hyderabad took to the streets protesting that the constable Payani died as he was not granted leave to return home after he reported sick.

The agitation by families of AP Special Police (APSP) constables of the eighth battalion at Kondapur here on Saturday in the wake of the death of one of their colleagues at Addateegala in East Godavari district, allegedly due to cerebral haemorrhage, spread to more districts on Sunday.

The families of APSP battalions in Kadapa, Vizianagaram, Adilabad, Nalgonda and Hyderabad took to the streets protesting that the constable Payani died as he was not granted leave to return home after he reported sick. The families alleged highhandedness by senior officials in denying leave to their spouses who were camping far away from home for long periods.

Tragic turn

Payani had left Hyderabad a month ago and died on August 2, a day before he was supposed to be relieved by a substituting batch. A company of 114 men of the eighth battalion at Kondapur was discharging duties at Addateegala in two batches that rotated duties with a gap of one month.

The rotation system of duties which came into force in March was resented by the families saying it resulted in the absence of their spouses from home for too long. They demanded reversion to the old system wherein the constables were granted three-day permission to stay at home for every 30 working days.

Officials’ meet today

The agitations spurred the government into action with Home Minister P. Sabita Indra Reddy assuring the families that she will convene a meeting with senior police officials on Monday. Additional DG of APSP Gautam Sawang personally met the families at Kondapur battalion which were staging a dharna outside the campus for the second day. He reportedly assured them that the rotation system would be withdrawn and the leave facility reviewed.

The dharna by women in at Chintalavalasa in Vizianagaram took a curious turn as they demanded an apology from local police inspector, Venkateswara Rao, for his remark that the agitations were uncalled for because the constables were not doing big jobs.

DGP V. Dinesh Reddy later directed Mr. Sawang to submit a report on the controversy after identifying the officers who were party to the decision to despatch APSP companies to far-flung areas.