MHA orders ‘second line of defence’ for police as Covid-19 cases rise
The Hiem Ministry’s order came after many central police forces have reported Covid-19 cases with the CRPF being the worst hit by the pandemic.Updated: May 03, 2020 18:35 IST
The ministry of home affairs (MHA) on Sunday asked chief secretaries, director generals of police (DGPs) of all states and heads of central paramilitary forces to “prepare a second line of defence” in police to make up for those who may be rendered ineffective due to Covid-19.
In an order, the ministry told the states/union territories that they can use the services of home guards, civil defence, NCC cadets, Scouts and Guides and Students Police Cadets in the areas where there are not imminent law and order duties.
The order came after many central police forces have reported Covid-19 cases. The CRPF has been the worst hit with more than 100 of its troopers testing positive in Delhi which forced it to seal its headquarters on Sunday.
The police chiefs have also been asked to consider the option of work from home for personnel not deployed on frontline and where feasible.
“To meet the challenge of Covid-19, and to ensure sustainment of control strategy for Covid-19, police forces need to prepare an effective second line of defence to make up for the police personnel who may be rendered ineffective due to Covid-19 infection during the pandemic,” stated the order reviewed by HT.
The government has suggested that the home guards, NCC etc can especially be of help in maintaining order at the relief centres and in facilitating the maintenance of supply chain and for coordinating other essential services.
The police have also been asked to help the general public and deal with them with empathy and compassion especially the weaker sections of the society. The cops have been asked to also monitor religious and social congregations during festivals to ensure social distancing.
“Police should also be watchful of migrant labourers/slums to contain any unexpected and undesirable mass movement,” it stated.