Union Minister of State for Labour Kodikunnil Suresh has said that he has grounds to believe that a conspiracy is at work in the State Police Department to stump the prospects of officers from the Scheduled communities to be conferred the Indian Police Service (IPS) rank.
Inaugurating the State committee meeting of the Kerala Police Association as part of its four-day conference which began here on Tuesday, he said these police officers were victims of bureaucratic-level harassment by a section of fellow officers. Those concerned should ensure that it ended.
“In my memory, there has never been a State Police Chief from the Scheduled communities. If opportunities are given to persons from such communities, they will undoubtedly perform well,” he said.
He said the Scheduled communities were poorly represented in the police force. He wanted this problem to be addressed in the right manner. When K. Karunakaran had been the Chief Minister, special recruitment was held to recruit members from the Scheduled communities in the police force. Many of those who got recruited in this manner had retired.
He said the Union government knew that strengthening the defence and paramilitary forces alone would not ensure the security of the nation. The police forces of the States should be strengthened and modernised to meet such challenges. That was precisely the reason the Union government was allocating ample funds to modernise the police forces.
He said it was time the Police Department thought of opening a police station in each panchayat. If there could be veterinary centres, primary health centres and other offices at the panchayat level, why not police stations, he asked. Now, four panchayats were covered by a police station, and the force lacked the strength to man many stations.
But the duties and responsibilities of the police were mounting. With poor strength, how could law and order be maintained, he asked. If the police force were to function effectively, such problems should be solved.