Lose weight or lose job, Karnataka policemen told

Karnataka police asked to get rid of potbellies or be ready for punishment.


Cops in the Indian state of Karnataka have been asked to lose weight and get rid of potbellies or be ready for punishment. Indian Twitter users are saying that this is long overdue.

Tweep @felix_asoha posted: “An Indian police force has told its officers to lose weight or face suspension from service.”

And @ManShunNot tweeted: “About time. #KarnatakaPolice”

The policemen have been told through a circular to get fit or be prepared for punitive action.

Many Indian newspapers quoted Karnataka’s Additional Director General (ADG) of Police, Bhaskar Rao, as saying: “It sends out a bad impression. People expect police to be fit. In case of a law and order situation, a policeman who can’t handle himself and has a protruding tummy won’t be of any help.”

According to news agency ANI, in the last one-and-a-half-years there have been 153 deaths of Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) personnel. While 24 were road accidents and nine were suicides, the remaining were lifestyle-related deaths. Rao added: “In most cases, fatty livers, high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney issues, heart attacks etc killed them. All of them were 45 years of age and above. It’s not a good sign.”

Potbellied and overweight personnel will be identified and put on a strict exercise regime and a healthy diet. Their fitness parameters will be regularly monitored.

The menu at the police canteen now features healthy foods. The cops are being encouraged to cut their carbohydrate intake and have ragi (finger millet), jowar (sorghum), bajra (millet) and navane (foxtail millet).

Rao added: “We want a healthy and happy force…. Defaulters will be given harsh and extra duties.”

In a similar exercise, the rural police in Coimbatore identified overweight policeman in March and sent them for a three-week rigorous training programme.

@ashutoshmisra70 posted: “A long due and welcome directive. Well done Karnataka Police.”

Facebook user, Indra J. added: “Policemen need to be healthy and fit to do their jobs. They should take physical training like our military personnel, only then can they help in reducing crime across the country. Hope all Indian states will enforce this.”

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