We will avoid political interference in Police Department: Minister

“The State government plans to increase the minimum tenure of police officers to two years from one year [at one place of posting], in accordance with the Supreme Court judgment in Prakash Singh Vs Union of India case,” Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy said in Belagavi on Saturday.

This is Mr. Ramalinga Reddy’s first visit to the district after taking charge as Home Minister.

“We are committed to ending political interference in the functioning of the police. We will ensure that postings and transfers of police personnel and officers are handled by the Police Establishment Board, in a non-political manner,” he said.

He was speaking to presspersons after reviewing the work of police officers in the Belagavi range at the office of the Inspector-General of Police.

Mr. Ramalinga Reddy clarified that the State government would bring in an amendment to the existing laws to ensure this change.

Allegations denied

He denied allegations by Leader of the Opposition Jagadish Shettar that the government was using the Anti Corruption Bureau officials to harass Income Tax officials to avenge the raid on Power Minister D.K. Shivakumar.

“Mr. Shettar is making baseless allegations. I don’t know what is his source of information. As far as I know, ACB has not done anything that is beyond its scope. It will, however, investigate cases that are within its purview,” he said.

ACB vs Lokayukta

He said that he would not respond to Upalokayukta Subhash Adi’s allegation that the ACB was created to curb the powers of the Lokayukta.

He refused to divulge details of the investigation of the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh, saying that it could affect investigation.

Over a 100 officers are involved in finding facts behind the offence. They are on the right track and the case will be solved soon, he said.

Some people had expressed the opinion that if the killers of M.M. Kalaburgi were caught, Gauri Lankesh would not have met her end. That is why Chief Minister Siddaramaiah constituted the special investigation team to probe into the murder. “That is their only job. I am confident they will do well,” he said.

Earlier, at a meeting of Superintendents of Police, Additional Superintendents of Police and Deputy Superintendents of Police, he asked officers to act strictly against offenders.

He suggested strengthening the new beat system that fixes responsibilities on individual officers. He told officers to adapt to new technological tools and fine-tune their professional skills.

He asked them to take a serious view of crimes against women and children.

He said that senior officers should depute personnel, including women, to carry out day beats in women’s colleges. He asked officers to deal strictly with Goondas and habitual offenders.