“The State Budget does not address the fundamental problem of manpower shortage in the police force,” said S.T. Ramesh, retired Deputy-General of Police, Karnataka, adding that it was an “election-oriented budget”.

Referring to the high level of stress that junior police personnel are under, and the role it played in the shooting of a Police Sub Inspector by a constable in Rajanukunte on January 27, Mr. Ramesh told The Hindu on Saturday that the budget showed that “nothing in the immediate future” was being done to recruit more personnel, which would relieve the load placed on constables.

Mr. Ramesh, who delivered the inaugural lecture on ‘Police reforms’ in a lecture series organised by the Citizens Action Forum, pointed out that funds for the Police Department would have to be carved out of the Rs. 3,849 crore allocated to the Home Department. He said that on the subject of manpower, the Police Department could not be treated on the same level as other government departments.

“Shortage of manpower in the Police Department is a serious issue: it is a question of citizens’ safety,” he said.