Bandhs spell bad news for policemen. For, they have to ensure the law and order situation in the city remains under control, even long after you have reached home safe.
A majority of the city policemen, along with forces like the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) who were roped in for duty during Thursday’s bandh, had to report for work between 5am and 6am, in case any trouble broke out early during the day. Many of them live in distant suburbs like Thane or Navi Mumbai, which meant they had to start from home even before the sun had risen.
Like many of his colleagues, WS Urke, a constable attached to the Railway Protection Special Force (RPSF), who was standing (on duty) outside the Dadar railway station had begun his day when the rest of the city was still asleep. Initially reluctant to talk, Urke opened up later. “I was asked to report at Dadar station by 5.30am. I had to leave my house around 4am to ensure that I was not late for work. We cannot complain, however, as everyone has to adjust in such circumstances. This is our job.”
When asked when he would be able to go home, he said: “In case there is no incident, we should be able to leave after 8pm. If there is a problem, however, then there will be no fixed timing.”
An inspector, who lives in Badlapur and did not wish to be named, told HT: “I had to reach the office around 5am. So I took the first train from Badlapur railway station, which leaves at 3.04am.”
Even the top brass had to report for work early, in order to decide the deployment of forces.