Jaipur: No weekly offs, inhospitable accommodations and whimsical seniors, Rajasthan’s constables live a hard life. The adverse impact of their arduous life can be gauged by the fact that 40 cops have committed suicide in past five years.
Depression, separation from families, and resulting stress was amongst chief reasons rendering many men and women of Rajasthan police feeling helpless, forcing them to take the extreme step. In other cases, harassment by senior cops at the police station triggered constables to commit suicide.
Among many problems that have plagued the junior constabulary, weekly offs has remained a perennial one. At least three successive DGPs in the state had promised to introduce a roster that would give a weekly off to constables posted in thannas. However, all plans failed either due to inadequate strength or lack of support from SPs. Except for Dungarpur, no other district police tried to implement a system wherein cops could take a day off from the duty.
An IPS official posted as district SP told TOI that frustration amongst constabulary is palpable. “They (constables and ASIs) live a very fractured life. Many are separated from their families and posted in small districts where there are no better education or health infrastructure. They are required to take their ailing parents to cities like Delhi, Ahmedabad, or Jaipur for treatment but barely get a leave sanctioned for the task. Others have their kids studying in faraway colleges but rarely get the time to visit them,” the official said, adding that many junior constable’s complaints they are getting alienated from their families.
Talking to TOI, DGP Dr Bhupendra Singh said that the PHQ is examining feasibility to check if weekly offs can be introduced. “We should not see police in the isolation, cops are also part of the society. In general, the stress and anxiety are on the rise,” he said.
Sawai Singh, a head-constable posted in Bikaner district was increasingly worried over his father’s deteriorating illness, he tried to restore balance between his work and personal life but in vain. Seeing on other option, he ended his life. Similar incident took place in Sirohi where a head-constable, Loon Singh, who was already on medication for depression, committed suicide as he could not make himself available for important family functions.
A constable posted in Jaipur rued that senior RPS and IPS officials remain aloof to their problems. “There are no clean toilets at lines and thannas, the night shift spills late afternoon if there is a major case. Even if parents are diagnosed with a terminal illness, seniors remain aloof to our problems and sometimes even goes on the extent to humiliate us,” he said. In March this year, Geeta (25), a constable posted in Jalore, committed suicide alleging excessive mental harassment from senior officials.