Wear mask, gloves while making arrest: Rajasthan govt Covid-19 SOP for cops
The state home department has drafted the SOP in compliance with a Rajasthan high court order, issued last Sunday, seeking a procedure for arrests amid the viral outbreak.Updated: May 21, 2020 15:28 IST
Rajasthan on Wednesday issued a standard operating procedure (SOP) for policing amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak, including mandatory wearing of face masks and hand gloves for police personnel, and also following a set of preventive measures while arresting criminals.
The state home department has drafted the SOP in compliance with a Rajasthan high court order, issued last Sunday, seeking a procedure for arrests amid the viral outbreak.
The court order was issued on the basis of a public interest litigation (PIL) that cited news reports about 55 inmates of Jaipur district jail, including both convicts and under trials, who tested Covid-19 positive.
In Rajasthan, 32 police personnel have tested Covid-19 positive to date. Altogether, 166 prisoners, and six prison staff, including the superintendent of Jaipur district jail, have contracted SARS-CoV-2, which causes the disease, and their condition is stated to be stable. Around 130 inmates are undergoing treatment at a makeshift isolation ward in the jail and the rest have been admitted to Jaipur’s Sawai Man Singh Hospital.
The SOP has directed the police to ensure the arrested accused are presented before magistrates in person or via videoconference facility at the earliest before taking them to custody. The accused have to be either lodged in jail or quarantined at isolation wards of district hospitals prior to conducting Covid-19 tests, it added.
The state police authorities have been directed to ensure the accused security at isolation wards until their test reports are made available.
If an accused is found to have tested Covid-19 positive, then action would be taken as per the prescribed norms. If an accused is found to be Covid-19 negative, then he needs to be admitted to an isolation ward for 21 days. He has to undergo another test after 21 days and then be put under home quarantine for 14 more days, if he is granted bail. In case his bail is denied, he needs to be lodged at a general jail ward.
The SOP said the judicial custody of an accused could be only sought under exceptional circumstances.
The guidelines also directed jail staff to take precautions while dealing with the accused in a bid to contain the spread of the viral outbreak.
The order also suggested conducting random Covid-19 tests for jail staff and their family members and a regular check-up of prisoners, maintaining their health records along with a daily sanitisation drive on prison premises.
Social distancing norms need to be strictly maintained along with the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) kits.
The overall tally in the desert state stood at 5,952 cases and 143 Covid-19 related deaths until 2pm on Wednesday.