Mumbai cops: Give us place to stay or allow us to send families home

Updated: Apr 08, 2020, 12:40 IST | Shirish Vaktania, Anurag Kamble, Vishal Singh | Mumbai

Cops who spend several hours amid heavy crowds seek isolated accommodation; else, they want state's help to send their families to the safety of their hometowns

Cops haul a man away for loitering at Saat Rasta in Mahalaxmi on Tuesday. Pic/Ashish Rane
Cops haul a man away for loitering at Saat Rasta in Mahalaxmi on Tuesday. Pic/Ashish Rane

Despite being right in the middle of the pandemic, Mumbai police have been dedicatedly discharging their duties every day. The brave cops, however, have been troubled by many issues, primary among them being the risk of their families getting infected as the cops spend at least 12 hours outside.

The police have been the main enforcers of social distancing in the city. With them running a huge risk of contracting Coronavirus, police personnel want the government to set up alternate residential facilities for the force.

Cops haul a man away for loitering at Saat Rasta in Mahalaxmi on Tuesday

Some have demanded that the government allow them to send their families to their village so that they stay away from infection.

The demand is resonating right from constables to the IPS officers as two personnel have already contracted the virus. With over 500 cases of the 1,000 in Maharashtra, Mumbai is a Coronavirus epicentre. Apart from health workers, the police force is the most vulnerable workforce at the frontline of thebattle against Coronavirus.

Police personnel and their families, were tested for Coronavirus at a Borivli staff quarter on Tuesday
Police personnel and their families, were tested for Coronavirus at a Borivli staff quarter on Tuesday

Personnel living in staff quarters at Borivli and their families were tested for Coronavirus on Tuesday after a 35-year-old sub-inspector tested positive on Monday. The building the sub-inspector resides in was sealed off by the BMC, which also tested 118 people living there.

A police officer residing in the society said, "Our building has been sealed but I am on duty. After getting myself tested, I resumed duty. I want to send my entire family to our native place. But with the lockdown, it is impossible."

Another sub-inspector from the society said, "We have asked MP Gopal Shetty and senior officers to save our families. If my family tests negative, I want to send them to our village in Dhule.

"Every day I meet so many people on the road, at the police station, isolation centres, hospitals and many more places. I could infect my entire family. If they were at our village, I could do my duty happily without worries."

Shetty, who visited the quarters, said, "All personnel also want their families to be tested. The test is too costly. We can check for symptoms and test accordingly. Another lady officer also asked for her family to be sent away. We will work on this. Police and doctors are gods. I will help with whatever they need."

An IPS officer residing in the suburbs also expressed similar concerns. "Like many other cops, I too am worried about my family. We are on the field for over 12 hours every day, handling many people, sometimes facing small crowds at markets.

"While going home, I wonder what if I am infected and pass on the virus to my parents or kids. We don't know how long this will go on. I understand that the government is prioritising positive patients. And though it is practically difficult, they must ponder this matter."

A constable living in Worli police camp said, "The government can create a facility for cops in schools and colleges, where they can rest. I don't want to pass the infection to my kids. Let's hope the government thinks out of the box to tackle this."

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