Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, April 18
A job in the Police Department is considered among the much-sought-after government jobs, but surprisingly 88 police personnel in the rank of constable to inspector took voluntary retirement from the UT police in the past nine years. Stress is said to be one of the reasons behind the step as during the same period, 153 cops died of cardiac arrest and various stress-related ailments.
The information, that is part of an RTI reply, reveals that 34 constables and head constables, 22 assistant sub-inspectors (ASIs) and 32 sub-inspectors (SIs) opted for the voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) from January 1, 2010, till now.
The RTI information, sought by Head Constable Jagjeet Singh of the UT police, further reveals that applications for voluntary retirement of eight police personnel — five constables and head constables, an SI and two ASI, are also pending with the Police Department.
While police personnel are already under stress due to long working hours, restriction on leave further adds to their woes.
The RTI information reveals that the department “stopped leave” on at least five occasions in 2017 and seven in 2018 for 10 days. In such a case, leave is approved only by senior police officers on their discretion. This adds to the work stress of police personnel since they do not get weekly rest.
The issue of leave, which is raised bu cops frequently, was also raked up before spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at the Police Lines in Sector 26 in March during an interaction with cops on stress-free policing.
Asked to talk about the stress being experienced by them, Constable Upinder Kumar of the Sector 24 police post said getting leave was a major issue in their department as nobody paid heed to his request for leave.
According to the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD), there is a 15 per cent leave quota in every state and UT of the total sanctioned strength of the police force. However, in Chandigarh, only 10 per cent police personnel get leave at a time, which is against the BRPD norms.
Concerned over the health of police personnel, the BPRD has recommended that each staff member in police stations should be allowed a weekly off regularly, leave applied for by the staff should be freely granted, as admissible, except in grave emergency.
204 deaths of police personnel reported from Chandigarh in past 9 years
135 died due to stress-related diseases such as hypertension, asthma & diabetes
18 died due to cardic arrest & 11 committed suicide during this period
120 suffer from hypertension
47 are diabetes patients
381 suffering from obesity
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