He criticised the police for not acting swiftly to prevent a sugarcane farmer from taking his life during the Belgaum legislature session, affecting the image of the government.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday pulled up the Police Department for what he said its lack of professionalism and expressed serious concern over the growing crime rate that was affecting the credibility of not only the police but also the State government.

Inaugurating a three-day annual conference of senior police officers at the police headquarters here, Mr. Siddaramaiah also found fault with the police for its lack of co-ordination and improper planning in the Gulbarga encounter case, which led to the death of the police sub-inspector Mallikarjun Bande.

He criticised the police for not acting swiftly to prevent a sugarcane farmer from taking his life during the Belgaum legislature session, affecting the image of the government. The failure of the police to arrest the accused in communal incidents in Chikmagalur in time had led to him obtaining anticipatory bail, he remarked.

“As per the records, organised crime, gambling and prostitution are on the rise and this can be contained within 24 hours by the jurisdictional police officers,” Mr. Siddaramaiah said and added that despite giving directions to senior police officers such crimes were continuing unabated.

Referring to the recent extortion cases involving police officers in Bangalore, Mr. Siddaramaiah asked the department why criminal cases had not been booked against the accused officers.

“You book criminal cases against people involved in such cases and arrest them. If so, why have you not done this to the officers involved,” he asked and said that merely suspending such officers is not enough.

Police officers should have better coordination with people for maintaining law and order in their jurisdiction. Having acquaintance with land sharks and indulging themselves in “hafta vasooli” (protection money) will have adverse effect on society and on the government, he said.

On poor investigation, Mr. Siddaramaiah said that conviction rates are zero due to the absence of quality investigation and professionalism among police officers.

Citing an example, Mr. Siddaramaiah said that in 2011, 1,797 cases of atrocities against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes communities were booked followed by 1,700 in 2012 and 1,925 in 2013. Not even a single case had seen conviction, he said and added that this was because of lack of quality and timely investigation.

He directed the police officers to take action against anti-social elements without being influenced by their background, political affiliation or organisation.

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