Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday vowed to put an end to moral policing in the state, and asked police officials to ensure that there is no discrimination between religions, while maintaining law and order.
In his maiden meeting with top police officials after the Congress government came to power, he warned concerned officials that they would be held responsible if law and order situation deteriorates and directed them to take strict action against those disturbing harmony through social media posts.
"We have asked the police to be people friendly, they should be courteous towards people who come to file complaints. Not only the police inspector, DCPs will also be held responsible for crimes and illegal acts like -- rowdyism, clubs, drug menace -- in any of their police station limits, and action will be taken against them," Siddaramaiah said.
Addressing reporters here, he said, "during the maintenance of law and order, there should not be any discrimination between religions, and everyone should be seen equally, and should be protected equally."
"No moral policing here on, we will put an end to this..." he added.
Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar, who was also present at the meeting, pointed to a few incidents under the previous BJP regime and said the new government will not allow "saffronisation" of the police department.
"People have elected a new government with the expectation of change. Officials should work to respond to their problems," Siddaramaiah said.
He also directed officials to take strict legal action against those disturbing harmony in the society, through inflammatory and provocative posts on social media.
The CM will hold a separate meeting to discuss the issue of traffic congestion in Bengaluru, his office said in a release quoting him.
Drug addiction should be prevented, Siddaramaiah said, as he asked "Hoysala" patrol teams to always be vigilant to check crimes.
Directing senior officers to visit and inspect police stations, he said the public who come to the police station with problems, should be treated courteously, without looking at them like criminals.
Siddaramaiah also told police officials that they should take merciless action to control illegal activities within the police station limits.
"Our government does not tolerate goondaism, illegal club activities, drug mafia," he said.
Ministers K J George, K H Muniyappa, B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan, M B Patil, Satish Jarkiholi and senior officials were also present at the meeting.
Taking officials to task over some incidents in the previous BJP government tenure, Shivakumar asked, "Are you planning to saffronise the police department?" He said that it will not be allowed in the present government.
Referring to incidents of policemen sporting saffron shawls or dress, during some occasions in Mangaluru, Vijayapura and Bagalkote, during previous BJP regime, he said, "We will not allow saffronisation of the police department, under our government."
Highlighting the involvement of an Additional Director General of Police rank official in the Police Sub-Inspector recruitment scam, the Deputy CM said, "look at the bad state of the department."
Shivakumar also charged the police with "harassing" Congress leader and now Minister Priyank Kharge, who brought out the scam, by holding a press conference.
Accusing the police of filing false cases against Congress leaders and workers, including Siddaramaiah and him, during BJP rule, he said, "We do not hold grudges. We don't believe in that. You change, leave the old. Start a new job."