CHENNAI: Protests planned by policemen seeking fixed working hours and abolition of the orderly system ended up as a hurried assembly of 30 retired policemen and their families in front of the Secretariat on Thursday.
This came after a few unidentified persons in the force began circulating messages through social media and mobile messaging networks over the last week inviting families of police personnel to come in large numbers to stage protest and present their demands to Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami. The DGP sent out a circular cancelling all leave for Thursday and making it compulsory for personnel to be on duty on the day.
As part of the beefed up security at the Secretariat, 500 personnel were on duty. The three entrances to the Secretariat were guarded by police officials with nearly 40 intelligence personnel combing the campus since 6 am.
Police Commissioner A K Viswanathan visited the spot by 8.30 am while the DGP T K Rajendran came in by 9 am.
When the question hour started in the Assembly around 10 am, five persons went to the Secretariat front gate to meet the chief minister to put forth 27 demands. The five included a retired Inspector and DSPs from the Tamil Nadu Federation of Retired Police Officers Association. However, police did not allow them in though their memorandum reached the Environment and Forest minister via top police officials. The five retired personnel were driven away by security police officials.
When Express contacted the president of Tamil Nadu Federation of Retired Police Officers Association, K Velusamy (retired Inspector) who was at the Secretariat, he said: “There are 900 retired police officers who were not given promotion according to Madras High Court judgment (WP(MD)1582/2011). There are five SSIs who got an SI promotion after retirement. So, the government should promote the 900 police personnel.” He also demanded that pension should be fixed at 50 per cent of basic pay.
Around noon, 30 retired police officials and their families gathered at the front gate. A retired Sub Inspector Selva Azhan from Thanjavur said, “Children of policemen who died while in service were not given employment in the police department on compassionate grounds. The police, however, immediately dispersed the crowd and took them to a police station.
“During inquiry they said they learnt about the protest through TV,” said a Joint Commissioner officer to Express.
“The Armed Reserve police work almost 24 hours. They should have rest and benefits too. They came to give the petition,” a senior officer said.