Mumbai Crime: Six cops booked for skipping work during the COVID-19 crisis

Updated: Jun 29, 2020, 08:13 IST | Samiullah Khan | Mumbai

Accused cops were initially served notice to report to duty, which they ignored

DCP Dr D S Swami (Zone 12) with cops take action on two-wheeler riders with a pillion and four-wheelers with more than three passengers on Western Express Highway, Borivli East, on Sunday.  PIic/Nimesh Dave
DCP Dr D S Swami (Zone 12) with cops take action on two-wheeler riders with a pillion and four-wheelers with more than three passengers on Western Express Highway, Borivli East, on Sunday. PIic/Nimesh Dave

The Borivli police on Saturday registered an FIR and booked six policemen attached to the Borivli police station for allegedly not appearing on duty since the last couple of months during the COVID-19 pandemic. The accused policemen have been identified as Prashant Bhosle, Pardeep Agvan, Harishchandra Bhosle, Vishwanath Namdaar, Pardeepkumar Babar and women constable Priyanka Chavan.

All six have been booked under Section 145 of Maharashtra Police Act along with Section 56 of the Disaster Management Act. According to sources, a few police personnel went on leave before the lockdown was announced while some went during the lockdown. However, they did not come back in spite of the leave period exhausting. So they were served with a notice, which they all chose to ignore.

"Already, the Mumbai Police is burdened with many responsibilities. We are working hard amid the pandemic time without much rest. We even lost a few of our colleagues, while there are others who are battling the virus. So in such a situation, where we already are short of manpower, these people chose to ignore their duty, which is not justified," a police officer said.

"We served them a notice, which they ignored. So we had to inform our top officers, on whose direction, a case has been registered on Saturday," he added. Maharashtra has one of the largest police departments in the country, with about 35 district police units in the state. The Maharashtra Police Department has a strength of nearly 1.95 lakh which includes 15,000 women officers. Last month, the Vanrai police lodged an FIR against the 17 state reserve police force (SRPF) personnel for allegedly not reporting to duty despite several warnings.

Across Maharashtra, including Mumbai, over 4,200 policemen have been infected with the COVID-19 and nearly 3,000 have recovered while 58 police officers have lost their lives.

So far 2,634 policemen from the Mumbai city police force were infected with COVID-19 out of which 1,979 recovered completely and 1,110 cops have already resumed their duty. About 1,486 police personnel are still under treatment while 38 police officers have succumbed.

4,200
No. of cops who contracted COVID-19 in Maharashtra

2,634
No. of cops who contracted COVID-19 in Mumbai

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