Deputy chief minister D.K. Shivakumar has warned police officers against trying to saffronise the police department.
Addressing a high-level meeting of senior police officers which was chaired by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in Vidhana Soudha on Tuesday, Shivakumar took the cops to task saying, the Congress government would not allow saffronisation of the police department.
"Have you set out to saffronise the police department? Our government will not allow it. I know how you shamed the uniform by flaunting saffron shawls in Mangalore, Bijapur and Bagalkot. You should have worn saffron for this meeting too. If you had respect for the country, you should have donned the tricolour," Shivakumar taunted the police.
Launching an offence over the state police, Shivakumar charged that the police force had spoilt the good reputation and honour of the Karnataka police through their behaviour.
"An ADGP tampering with the OMR sheet in PSI recruitment only goes to show the extent of rot in the police department. You harassed the person who exposed the scam and also Priyank Kharge. There is a demand for bribes across the board. But all this should be cleaned up under our rule as people expect big changes from us. The clean-up act should begin with the police department," said Shivakumar.
Stating that the Congress government does not encourage corruption or bribing, the deputy CM said, "We don't want a penny from you (collected as a bribe). You must function in such a manner that the common man does not suffer. Your past behaviour will not be tolerated."
The KPCC chief also alleged that past behaviour of the police was hostile towards the Congress leaders.
"I know how you treated me and Siddaramaiah during the PayCM campaign. You slapped a case against me and filed false cases against our party workers. I don't believe you will spare the common man as did not spare us. You joined hands with the BJP and did not book a case even when someone gave a call to "murder Siddaramaiah just like they had Tipu Sultan."
Further, the DCM stated that he had proof of all that the police had done in the previous regime. "We are watching you. You must change your behaviour. Else, we will replace you. We are not vindictive. You must start afresh. We are with officers who work sincerely and who protect the interests of the people," he added.
Siddaramaiah directed the police officers to control cybercrime in the state. "You must mercilessly take action against those who put content that disturbs peace and harmony in society on social media. Crackdown on posts that are provocative or indulge in character assassinate people," said Siddaramaiah, adding that moral policing will not be tolerated by his government.
Siddaramaiah who was chairing the meeting also directed the cops to take tough action against rowdyism, drug mafia and crack down on illegal clubs.
"We will not tolerate any inaction and dereliction of duty by the police. Hoysala (patrol) police should be vigilant at all times and help prevent crimes. Senior officers should regularly visit police stations and ensure that the staff is courteous to people coming in with their grievances," said the chief minister who also sought better traffic management to ease traffic.
A separate meeting would be convened soon to discuss ways to tackle the traffic menace in the state capital.