JODHPUR/JAIPUR: In an embarrassment to the Vasundhara Raje government in India, over 250 policemen went on a day's mass leave on Monday and some of them who were supposed to give guard of honour to Indian Union home minister Rajnath Singh in Jodhpur refused to do so. The constabulary went on leave following rumours that a government order would reduce their pay scales, reported Times of India.

Jodhpur police commissioner Ashok Rathod told TOI, "More than 250 policemen went on a day's mass leave on Monday. It was not a sanctioned leave. They absented themselves from duty... some of them were part of the guard of honour, but they refused to report for duty. We had to replace them with other policemen."

He said this was a "serious" issue and added that action would be taken against the guilty policemen. "The action will be uniform in nature," Rathod said. Rajasthan DGP Ajit Singh told TOI that indiscipline in any form would not be condoned. The state constabulary has been protesting against rumours that their pay scale grades would be reduced from the existing Rs 24,000 to the proposed Rs 19,000 per month. This followed a WhatsApp message which went viral among groups of constables. The protest ahead of Diwali has left the government in a tight spot as this would mean reduction in police deployment in sensitive areas.

The DGP issued a letter on Monday evening to inspector generals and district superintendents of police, asking them to speak to the protesting constables to dispel pay cut rumours. Meanwhile, two constables in Jaipur tonsured their heads in protest. Both of them have been sent to police lines.