Thiruvananthapuram: Police officers who were posted in other states for election duties suffered due to health issues. 1450 officers were posted in 10 states and among whom 60 were diagnosed with jaundice. 34 officers who had severe health problems were allowed to come back home. Others are taking rest in the barracks of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Bihar.
It was on March 28 that 16 company police officers were first sent outside Kerala to Andhra Pradesh. They worked changing stations among Tamil Nadu, Daman Diu, Goa, Karnataka, Bihar, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. Tamil Nadu team, who came back after their duty, were sent again to other states.
The climate of Himachal Pradesh was cold whereas all the other states it was extremely hot. Changing weather, lack of availability of drinking water, etc added to their deteriorating health. A route march was conducted on a day when the temperature was 42 degrees Celsius in Rajasthan. Most times they had to walk for travelling as they were not given any vehicle for transport, said the officers.
There is no history of appointing officers from Kerala police for more than two weeks. This is the first time that they were given duty at 10 different states for 45 days.
Even amongst all these struggles, some officers showed interest to collect their postal votes. However, they didn’t receive any form for this. “All those (postal votes) must have been done by people in the office, I just want to get back home without dying first,” said an officer posted in Himachal Pradesh.
Police officer hurt after being hit by a vehicle
Normally officers who hail from other states are not given duty to check vehicles alone. This time, Kerala police officers were given the task to do this independently. Vishnuraj, an officer, was hit by a vehicle during one such checking. He was admitted in a general hospital in Haryana. He returned to Kerala last Sunday along with another officer.
There have been complaints that commandants are not looking into any problems faced by the Kerala police. The visit of the commandant to see Vishnuraj after three days of the accident also added to the complaint.