Staff Reporter

They are putting in long hours even as crime detection takes the back seat

Almost all policemen are involved in poll duty

They are working for nearly 14 to 15 hours a day

Bangalore: The mobilisation of police personnel for election duty is believed to have affected investigation of crime cases in a number of police stations across the city with the officials concentrating on identifying poll-related violation.

With poll observers going around the constituencies to make sure that there are no violation of model code of conduct, these uniformed men have been concentrating on the election duty and maintenance of law and order in their jurisdiction. According to Director-General of Police R. Srikumar, practically almost all policemen are involved in the election duties.

“We have to be constantly on our toes, being alert to any violation of model code. The election observers have also been strict,” another police official told The Hindu and pointed out that the police personnel were also accompanying the teams to remove banners and buntings put up in the constituency. “The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) officials take us for reasons of security when the are banners to be removed,” he added.

The official said that constables, who work at the grassroots in crime detection, have been drafted to poll duty. This affects crime detection and investigation as these are the people who have the knowledge of criminal network.

According to the Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) B. Gopal Hosur, the priority of the department was towards election duty and maintenance of law and order, and that officials are unable to focus on crime detection. “We have been doing it (detection), but will resume in full scale after elections, he added.

“Our department, being a disciplined body, we have to be bound to our duty. The department has taken the instructions given by the Election Commission seriously and is implementing the code of conduct without giving an opportunity for its violation,” a senior IPS official said.

IPL security

Adding pressure on the already stretched department are the cricket matches of the Indian Premier League (IPL). A top police official said that the IPL has been an unwanted burden on the department. “Though the IPL rarely sees any untoward incidents, a large posse of police personnel have to be deployed at the stadium,” the official said.

Ever since the dates of the elections were announced, the police personnel have been working nearly 14 to15 hours a day. Providing security in the stadium, implementing the code of conduct, removal of buntings as well as maintaining law and order in the city have all compounded the woes of the men in uniform.