The City police are going through various health issues due to overload of work and stress.
The state information commission has asked the home department to provide information to an applicant on the fitness of its police officers. The order comes with a warning and questioning why there should not be any disciplinary action against the public information officer (PIO).
In the month of May this year, then Mumbai Police chief Rakesh Maria joined 250 members of his team to answer objective questions ranging from how they felt when they woke up in the morning, to whether they were satisfied with their life. Stress emerging as a major reason behind many police personnel’s deaths. The country’s oldest force of its kind has decided to undergo psychological analysis that will cover the 50,000-strong organisation.
Mumbai Police DCP rank officer said “There are a lot of aspects of our job that contribute towards heart disease. Prominent among are the exhausting duty hours, a lifestyle that always stressful and lack of regular exercise, untimely sleep and meals”
A survey was conducted in this regards. However, most of the constables had not filled the genuine information on the form of the survey.
Deven Bharti, JCP (Law and Order), believes, “A larger message needed to be send to the force — that they should fill the forms with honesty and that they should not think that their careers would be affected if they speak up against senior officers”.
“The survey was meant to get an idea of whether any of our personnel are in need of counseling or other measures. We (the police leadership) will not even see their questionnaires. They will be sealed as soon as they are filled and will only be viewed by the psychiatrists, who will evaluate them and contact the concerned officer or constable directly to suggest any remedial measures required, but there is no follow up on rising stress in the department,” added Bharti.
A police constable who was recently on stress treatment told this newspaper under the condition of anonymity, “We have to perform very rigorous duty and in festive season it goes manifold. Most of the time, we even forget to meet our family also. Sometimes while on duty we don’t get time to have meal also. Rest and medicines are secondary aspects for us. When pressures build up on seniors they pass it on to us.”
While talking to our reporter, another police inspector said, “While we are performing our duty, children and family go through dire crises due to lack of attention from us. Moreover, there is shortage of police personnel in the force. Mumbai is densely populated and required more force to maintain law and order in the city. Due to shortage, we have long hours of duty which is mainly increasing stress and casualty.
Earlier, when a survey was conducted 450 men among the 40,000 strong force of Mumbai police were infected by HIV. Sources within the police force claimed that the rising figure of HIV positive cases in police is also grave concern for the force.
The commission in its order stated that the information sought is of public interest and should be provided to the applicant. The order had given the date of December 14 but applicant said he is yet to receive them. The order dated to November 16, was given by state chief information commissioner, Ratnakar Gaikwad after an application made by RP Yajurwedi Rao, a resident of Andheri. Rao, in his application, had sought information about the evaluation report and recommendation of the committee constituted at each district / commissionerate level to verify fitness of the officers and constabulary to continue in service or otherwise after 55 years of age.