SHILLONG, July 28 � An �embarrassed and worried� Meghalaya government today ordered an internal inquiry by its police chief to find out whether allegations of �discrimination� within the police department were true.
The decision to conduct the inquiry was taken after another Meghalaya police personnel took to the jungle and joined the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) alleging �discrimination� within the police ranks.
The total number of such desertions has risen to five, including the GNLA chief Champion R Marak, who is a dismissed Meghalaya police Deputy Superintendent of Police.
�We are of course worried about this trend and so the Director General of Police, Prem Singh would find out whether such allegations are correct,� a visibly embarrassed Home Minister, HDR Lyngdoh admitted after a sustained meeting with the DGP and other senior officials here today.
Lyngdoh, however, categorically denied there was any discrimination or torture against junior police officials by the seniors. �It is not true, there is no discrimination or torture against anybody, however, to be doubly sure the DGP would find out whether there are such instances,� he added.
Yesterday, a Personnel Security Officer of an MLA, Constable Hubert Marak, resurfaced in the camps of the GNLA after he went missing. The deserter has alleged that there is widespread discrimination within the police department.
On the issue of leave, the renegade Constable said that as punishment a cop late in joining duty even by a day is �tortured� and pay is deducted. Such punishment is given out selectively, he added.
All the other cops who deserted the police force before have made similar allegations, including the GNLA chief.
Senior police officials, without wishing to be quoted said such desertions are indeed damaging the image of the police.
�Whether such allegations are true needs to be probed, but what can be said now is that the image of the police have taken a severe beating because desertions,� a senior official said.