Cop murder-suicide fallout: Mumbai policemen to get psychological help

In an effort to avoid a repeat of the tragic murder-suicide at Vakola police station in Mumbai's suburb of Santacruz, the top brass of Mumbai police is looking to introduce mandatory mental check-up of all police officers.

ASI Dilip Shirke shot dead Senior Inspector Vilas Joshi, 54, and injured constable Balasaheb Ahir on Saturday night.

When asked about what steps were being taken by the police department to prevent such tragedies in the future, a senior IPS officer told mid-day that they were planning to introduce a compulsory mental check-up programme for all police officials.

When asked if it would be mandatory for all subordinate cops to disarm themselves before entering a senior officer’s office, the officer said that there are no such plans under consideration.

"Rather than passing an order to disarm subordinate cops, we are focusing on eradicating the root cause, which is depression," he said.

Besides the mental check-up programme, the officer also told mid-day that a team of police officials will be visiting the police colonies at regular intervals to review the conditions.

Furthermore, senior officers have been asked to talk to cops on regular basis to insure that the work conditions are not stress-inducing.

The Bombay Psychiatrist Society is looking to provide assistance to the Mumbai police in dealing with the stress of the men in khaki.

The president of Bombay Psychiatrist Society, Sanjai Kumavat, said that his team will be focusing on stress management, anger management and addiction. Their stress-reduction treatment will include yoga and physical exercises.

He said, “We will make a video and show it to the cops. The video will include things like work stress, long working hours, transfer order, problems at home. This will help cops identify these things. Then we will show them both appropriate and inappropriate reactions in these situations to make them understand their problem."

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