Andhra government abolishes orderly system in police


Hyderabad : The Andhra Pradesh government Thursday abolished the orderly system, a demeaning colonial practice of engaging police constables and home guards as domestic servants at the homes of senior police officers.

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The government has issued an order, doing away with the orderly system that is prevalent in the police department.

The latest move came in the wake of death of a constable, P. Muralinath, under mysterious circumstances while on duty July 29 in Noida in Uttar Pradesh. The armed reserve constable was deputed to work as orderly at the Noida residence of additional Director General of Police Vivek Dubey who is the chief of OCTOPUS, an anti-terrorist force of the state police.

As the constable’s death exposed the feudal system and evoked public outrage, the state government constituted a high-level, three-member committee, headed by Chief Secretary P. Ramakanth Reddy, to probe the matter.

The committee which submitted its report early last month recommended scrapping the orderly system and replacing them with helpers, to be recruited separately, for posting at the residences of senior police officers.

The government Aug 25 also suspended Dubey and Abraham Lincoln, both senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officers, holding them ‘indirectly responsible’ for the suspicious death of the constable. Lincoln, working as Commandant, Special Armed Reserve, had sent the constable to Noida in Uttar Pradesh ‘without competence’, the government said.

It is estimated that over 15,000 constables work as orderlies at the homes of senior police officials in the state. In most cases, they end up working as drivers, cooks and gardeners and silently suffer the humiliation.

A clause in the Andhra Pradesh Police Manual allows IPS officers to engage constables and head constables to assist them. But, in practice, it is misused by most senior officers. The state has nearly one lakh strong police force, out of which 800 are top-rank officers, including over 200 IPS officers.

The orderly system was first introduced during British rule in 1861. In the absence of communication facilities at that time, the idea was to ensure that the services of policemen were available for the officer to act quickly in case of any law and order problem.