The Mumbai police commissioner’s massive cleansing operation has wreaked havoc on the lives of 50 long-serving policemen. The Commissioner of Police (CP) Arup Patnaik recently shunted 97 long-serving assistants of senior police inspectors from various police stations to the Local Arms unit, which is usually considered a punishment posting. 50 of them now claim that the transfers were unfair and inconsiderate, and has affected their health.
On May 31, Patnaik shunted 97 orderlies of different ranks — constables, sub-inspectors, readers and drivers — who have served for years under different senior inspectors. 50 of them, however, appear to be suffering from genuine health problems. These claim that they were earlier posted to stations close to their homes, out of consideration for their inability to travel using public transport. Following the transfers, however, these cops — some of whom are handicapped and sustained the handicaps while dispensing their duties as cops — have been forced to travel long distances of 25-30 km on public transport to the Local Arms unit in Naigaon. The transfer has been imposed on many senior cops who have just a few months left for their retirement.
“I lost my leg while serving the department in 2008. While chasing robbers, I stepped into the Mahim creek, and slipped in the drain water. I was severely injured. Instead of taking leave and tending to my wound, I kept on reporting to work. Eventually my wound got infected. Neither did the department sanction my leave, nor did it pay for my medical bills of about Rs one lakh. The doctors eventually had to amputate my left leg,” said a police constable who lives in Kurla. He was transferred with only a year to go for his retirement. Till the transfer, he was reporting to the Kurla police station, but now has to undertake the daily commutes to the Naigaon Dadar headquarters.
Another assistant sub inspector, who was earlier posted at Malad police station, said, “I have met with two heart attacks while on duty. The days that followed were hellish. I was not paid for any medical expenses. Moreover, they cut my pay for the number of days I had to take leave. With just six months to my retirement, the department transferred me to Naigaon. It takes me at least two hours to reach office in crowded public buses, where I feel uncomfortable. If I get another heart attack, will anybody be held accountable for my death?”
Owing to their physical problems, many of these cops have to take the help of their kin to get to work. One such constable, who suffered paralysis, is escorted to the Naigaon headquarters on a daily basis by his son, who then waits all day near the headquarters, to accompany his father back home after duty hours. He was earlier posted at the Worli police station, close to his place of work. “My son is unable to concentrate on his job, and is on the verge of losing it,” he revealed.
Many of these transferred cops have only months to go for their retirement — two of them have undergone bypass surgery. According to Mumbai police GR, a police officer can be transferred only after he completes three years at particular police station. A constable level cop can only be transferred after he finishes six years of service at one police station. If the cop is to be transferred before tenure, then special permission has to be taken from the Home Ministry.
The other side
Mumbai police spokesperson, DCP Nisar Tamboli said, “All the transfers are issued according to the GR Act. However, for certain places, we have to take administrative decisions. We cops have to do our duty and have to be committed to the service of people. If someone is not able to handle his responsibilities and has physical problems, it is better to post him to Local Arms where there is the work pressure is less. We are here to do our duty, not to take police station duties close to our homes and rest.