RTI reply: Stress takes a heavy toll on Chandigarh cops

Saurabh Parashar
The stress-related ailments, which claimed these precious lives, included hypertension, asthma, diabetes and depression.

AS MANY as 204 police personnel of the Chandigarh Police died during service between January 2010 and April 2019. Seventy-five per cent of these men (153 in number) died of heart disease and various stress-related ailments. Depression was also a major killer as 11 of these policemen took their own lives. This information is part of the reply submitted to an RTI query.

The stress-related ailments, which claimed these precious lives, included hypertension, asthma, diabetes and depression. Eighteen of these 204 policemen died of heart attack, while 135 died due to stress-related afflictions, states the RTI reply. "No information is available about the cause of deaths of 40 police personnel," states the report.
A total of 164 police personnel, who lost their lives in service during the last nine years, were constables and head constables, while 40 were assistant sub-inspectors (ASI), sub-inspectors (SI) and inspectors.

The RTI reply also sheds light on the poor state of physical fitness of the city cops. It states that 381 police personnel were found obese in the last six months. One hundred and twenty policemen were found suffering from hypertension, while 47 were found diabetic and four had heart-related problems during their annual medical examination in the last six months.

In a detailed reply to applicant head constable Jagjeet Singh, the Chandigarh Police stated that the police department has no record of the number of cops suffering from kidney-related problems, Hypoglycemia (low blood pressure), asthma, Alzheimer's, gastrointestinal and other stress-related problems. The information was provided by Administrative Officer at Chandigarh police headquarters, Sector 9.

DIG (UT) OP Mishra said, "We maintain the record of the cause of death of every policeman who dies during service. Policing is a very high-stress profession. We have introduced various stress-busters such as yoga sessions, nature walks, cultural programs to make cops loosen up. I will find out why we don't know the cause of deaths of 40 cops."
Sources said though the department has not maintained any record of cops with asthma, a number of traffic police personnel are suffering from this particular ailment.