Four police officers guilty of favouritism towards candidates: Report
They have been transferred to non-executive posts with immediate effect
Favouritism by police officers towards electoral candidates has caused a major embarrassment to the Police Department. An inquiry report submitted to the Karnataka Chief Election Commission (CEC) on April 15 found four officers, including an Assistant Commissioner of Police and three inspectors, guilty of favouring candidates fielded by “ruling parties” and discarding complaints filed against them ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
The issue of favouritism was brought up by members of the BJP, who filed several complaints with the CEC, which then sought a report from the DG-IGP’s office, and necessary action to be taken against Ravi Prasad, ACP (Yeshwantpur sub-division); P.T. Srinivas, Inspector (Peenya); Shiva Reddy, Inspector (Jnanabharathi); and Mudduraj, Inspector (Yeshwantpur).
However, when no action was initiated, the CEC set up a joint inquiry team comprising Shivayogi Kalasad, IAS, Regional Commissioner, and D. Roopa, Inspector General of Police (Railways), directing them to submit a report. The inquiry team concluded that there were serious lapses on part of the officials, and recommended that they be replaced to ensure fair polls.
The CEC sent the report to the DG&IGP, who transferred the police officials to non-executive posts with immediate effect. One of the statements was from Public Prosecutor Revanna Siddappa who said that Ravi Prasad and Srinivas did not arrest an accused booked in a criminal case as he belonged to a political party. The officials did this to help him campaign, Mr. Siddappa said. The report was substantiated by photographs of the accused actively participating in election campaigns.
Mr. Siddappa also said that the officers failed to file objections for anticipatory bail applied by the accused. Two officers also booked cases against BJP workers in Jalahalli police station while a counter complaint filed had been burked.
The committee noted that they registered cases and entertained complaints on behalf of one political party but failed to consider others. Mudduraj had filed three cases against BJP workers without considering their counter complaints. “…The said officers often accompanied the candidate of a particular party during campaigning on the pretext of law and order maintenance, which in turn, influences the voters because of their presence in uniform,” read the report.