New Delhi: At his first meeting with senior police officials at the Vidhana Soudha on Tuesday (May 23), Karnataka chief minister and Congress leader Siddaramaiah said there should be “no moral policing”. “We will put an end to this,” Siddaramaiah said, according to South First.
The priority, he continued, should be people-friendly policing and ensuring law and order. Siddaramaiah also told the police to act swiftly and stringently against social media posts that may disrupt social harmony or provoke certain groups.
“People have elected a new government hoping for change. Officers should respond to their grievances,” the new chief minister said.
Moral policing had become a big issue in the state under the former government. BJP chief minister B.S. Bommai had appeared to defend instance of moral policing by vigilantes in Mangalore when he said in October 2021, “This is a sensitive issue. We all have responsibilities in society. There are multiple sentiments in a society and people will need to function in a manner that does not hurt sentiments. When sentiments are hurt, there will normally be action and reaction.”
Deputy chief minister D.K. Shivakumar, ministers K.J. George, K.H. Muniyappa, B.Z. Zameer Ahmed Khan, M.B. Patil and Satish Jarakiholi, and ACS to chief minister Rajaneesh Goel also attended the meeting, South First reported.
Shivakumar also spoke at the event, and seconded Siddaramaiah’s views. Shivakumar said the Congress government would not allow the police force in the state “to be saffronised”, The Telegraph reported.
“Your officials brought shame on the police department by wearing saffron shawls in Mangalore, Bijapur and Bagalkot,” he continued, referring to the Vijaya Dashami celebrations in 2021 where police personnel had reportedly come for duty wearing saffron clothes.
The deputy chief minister also spoke out against bribery – saying that police officials should not take or give bribes. “We [those in government] don’t need a single paisa from you, and you must not give anything to anyone. It’s enough if you do your job properly,” he said.
Shivakumar also accused the police of filing false cases against him, Siddaramaiah and other Congress leaders during the previous BJP government. “We do not hold grudges. We don’t believe in that. You change, leave the past behind. Start a new job,” he said.