Coronavirus outbreak: Don't use force. Repeat. Don't use force

Updated: 27 March, 2020 07:16 IST | Dharmendra Jore | Mumbai

That's the state-wide wireless message DGP Subodh Jaiswal sent out to all his policemen after reports emerged of cops assaulting essential supply workers on Day 1 of the lockdown

A policeman seen raising his baton at civilians breaking the curfew near CSMT. Pic/ Suresh Karkera
A policeman seen raising his baton at civilians breaking the curfew near CSMT. Pic/ Suresh Karkera

Maharashtra's Director General of Police, Subodh Kumar Jaiswal, sent out a message to all district police HQs and commissionerates on Wednesday night, ordering them to not use force against civilians in the nationwide lockdown. mid-day has a copy of the order.

ON the first day of the lockdown, several instances of police brutality against civilians venturing outside were witnessed. The state police chief also ordered the force to allow the delivery of app-based food, grocery, fruit, vegetable and other orders.

Jaiswal wants unhindered movement of medical supplies and healthcare staff, including doctors, nurses, paramedics, bankers, telecom employees, gas supply workers and petroleum company employees. "They should be allowed to continue without hindrance," the order said.

Providing relief to people who order essential items online, including food and medicine, the DGP has said that e-retailers such as Amazon, Flipkart, BigBasket and others be allowed to carry out home deliveries. Delivery of food by delivery apps like Swiggy, Zomato and others should also not be stopped. In addition, he also instructed police all over the state to ensure grocery stores, pharmacies, vegetable and fruit shops remain open.

He has also cautioned unit heads against deploying personnel in plainclothes. "No policeman should be deployed in civvies for this (lockdown) duty," he said.

The pass that will be given to those delivering essential servicesThe pass that will be given to those delivering essential services

In addition, the police chief also ordered the free movement of vehicles transporting essential commodities defined by the government. "Residents should be asked to stay indoors except for permitted activities by using loudspeakers on mobile vehicles. Public Announcement (PA) system should be used continuously to give instructions to public," the order said.

According to the missive, adequate police personnel would be deployed at the Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMC) market to allow smooth operations in view of the shortage. The force has also been told to ensure social distancing between workers, vendors and buyers. For the safety of the personnel, the order advised that officers and the force on-duty to compulsorily maintain social distancing at work and wear masks.

No. of COVID-19 deaths in state so far

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First Published: 27 March, 2020 06:50 IST

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