: Police personnel in Kerala under stress can now avail the help of expert counsellors, as authorities have unveiled a detailed plan to de-stress policemen and help them tackle professionalstrain.
The counselling period would be considered as duty hours and necessary allowances would be given to the police personnel, irrespective of their rank, as per the new initiative.
The state police had come in for criticism in the recent past for a range of reasons from custodial torture, indecent behaviour towards public, ill-treatment of junior officers and suicides following the alleged harassment of seniors.
Probably keeping this in mind, DGP (Law and Order), Loknath Behera has come out with a special plan to make police personnel more people-friendly, improve their behaviour towards the public and ease their stress and strain with the help of counsellors.
In a recently issued circular, the DGP said facilities have been arranged at Help and Assistance to Tackle Stress (HATS) centre at the SAP camp here to provide counselling for those suffering from mental stress.
Steps are on to open similar HATS centres in all district headquarters and they are expected to be operational by next month.
The service of expert psychologists and counsellors would be made available for the police personnel there, he said.
"Those suffering from mental stress should be identified and sent to these counselling centres. The period of counselling will be considered as duty and necessary allowances will be given for that," Behera said in the circular.
Sessions of yoga, meditation and breathing exercises should be arranged in police stations in tune with the duty schedule, it said.
The DGP also urged district police chiefs and sub-divisional officers to take part in such sessions to motivate junior rank officers.
In the circular, Behera also directed to identify those misbehave with the public and use abusive language and keep them away from duties that demand constant interaction with people.
A number of incidents including the alleged brutal custodial torture and death of a man at Nedumkandam in Idukki has shown the Kerala police in bad light in recent times.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)