Balan’s statement comes in the wake of intelligence reports that the police force in the state have become highly politicised. His comments also differ from that of chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and health minister K K Shailaja who had taken a favourable stand towards the police associations.
“Political parties will take care of political activities. Those who are drawing salaries from the consolidated fund need not bother about that. The associations should be concerned only about their service matters like transfers, promotions etc…,” Balan said. He said, however, there is no bar for them in reacting to political matters.
Regarding the recent cases of custodial torture and custodial death, the minister said such incidents cannot spoil the image of the government. “It is the way the government responds to such matters that should be considered. We have proved that all those who are acting against government policies will be behind the bars,” he said.
In the wake of the intelligence reports, state police chief Loknath Behera has asked the range IGs to inquire into the matter. He had also asked the association to adhere to the 14 circulars issued from time-to-time regarding the police association’s activities.
The chief minister had not made any criticism against the associations while inaugurating the recently held state conference of the Kerala police association. Moreover, he also made comments in favour of erecting red-coloured martyr’s column in the police association meetings. In front of the columns, which looks like those found in the meetings of CPM-affiliated organizations, the association members raised slogans haling martyrs.
Health minister K K Shailaja also had justified the sloganeering by police association members before martyr columns , and said that even Mahatma Gandhi was a martyr. The association had also change the blue colour of the official emblem of the organization to red and some members had dressed in red in the association district meetings.