MP police restricts leaves, DGP says Covid spreading among cops due to ‘carelessness’
The Congress party has opposed the order and demanded its immediate withdrawal.Updated: Aug 02, 2020 23:36 IST
An order by Madhya Pradesh’s director general of police (DGP) Vivek Johri has barred policemen in the state from leaving their headquarters except in emergency situations. He has also said that the rising number of infections in the police force were a result of carelessness shown by officials and personnel in following the anti-Covid 19 standard operating procedure (SOP).
The order and the observation form part of a circular issued by the DGP, marked to heads of all police units and all superintendents of police in districts and in railways.
The Congress party termed the order irrational and said that the policemen were risking their own lives to protect others. The party demanded that the state home minister withdraws the order immediately.
The DGP’s circular dated August 1, 2020 states, “In the past few days, a good number of police officials/personnel have been infected with novel Coronavirus (Covid-19). Through this office’s letter dated June 12, 2020, SOP regarding Covid-19 was conveyed to all the police units. Despite this, police officials/personnel adopted carelessness that resulted in 255 active cases of Corona among police officials/personnel and approximately four times of the same among them are in quarantine.”
The circular further reasons that the increasing number of infections in the police force was due to personnel not following adequate precautions while on leave and flouting quarantine norms when rejoining duty.
“In view of the increasing infections of Corona among the policemen, the leave of police officials/personnel to leave their headquarters is immediately stopped. Those who have got the leave can proceed on leave only after permission from inspector general of police concerned. It should be ensured that sanction of leave/leaving the headquarters should be allowed only in emergency situation in regard with their family and health,” said the circular.
Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member Vivek Tankha wrote to home minister Narottam Mishra calling the order irrational.
“The DGP’s order is not rational. Of course, protecting the jawans from Corona should be the first priority but we all know that more than 1.5 lakh police officials and personnel have risked their life while discharging their duties to protect life of people across the state in the past six months,” Tankha stated in his letter.
He added that the policemen are bound to come in contact with others during patrol duty, checking of vehicles, maintaining law and order etc. and thus they are always susceptible to contracting the virus.
“In the past also the police headquarters had issued an irrational order which was later withdrawn in view of its impracticality. The police personnel don’t have adequate housing facility as well. In view of the difficulties the policemen are facing at the lower level, the order should be immediately withdrawn,” Tankha’s letter said.
Home minister Narottam Mishra couldn’t be reached for his comments.