We have now become mute spectators to Dharavi crowds, say cops

Updated: May 18, 2020, 07:43 IST | Anurag Kamble | Mumbai

With more than 1,000 COVID-19 cases from Dharavi alone, cops now fear for their own safety

People venturing out in Dharavi is a common spectacle for police officers. Pic/Ashish Raje
People venturing out in Dharavi is a common spectacle for police officers. Pic/Ashish Raje

The death of 32-year-old assistant police inspector (API) posted at Shahu Nagar, Dharavi – a COVID-19 hotspot has shaken the entire police force.

Despite more than 1,000 COVID-19 cases, cops feel the Dharavi locals have not followed social distancing or any lockdown rules. And with the increase in cases, police have started fearing for their safety. mid-day spoke to some cops posted in Dharavi, who spoke about their ordeal.

"We have a straight 12-hour duty and a 24-hour off. But despite several cases from here, Dharavi streets are always crowded and it becomes really difficult to control the wcrowd. When we ask reasons for venturing out, everyone has a one. How can we take action on such people" a constable said.

"We have become a mute spectator of the crowd now and as Coronavirus cases continue to rise from this area, we aren't sure of how we will remain safe," he added.

A sub Inspector from Shahu Nagar said, "We have been asked to take action against those who venture out for no reason. But this involves us going near the locals and this might lead to us getting contracted. The government should take a closer look at the situation and introduce strict rules".

An officer from Dharavi Police station said, "Dharavi has multiple openings. This results in people going out to other areas, or others come here. This is one of the major reasons for the increase in cases. And with us being in close proximity with the locals, we are more prone to get the infection. The government must consider Dharavi as a special case and make some different set of rules here. Else residents and cops will keep getting infected and deaths are inevitable."

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