The last time the three-year-old Viaan spoke to his father, Delhi Police constable Amit Kumar (32), over the phone was on Monday evening. It was a quick chat as Kumar wasn’t feeling too well. “Papa doesn’t call me, I am angry with him now. I won’t speak to him,” said the child to his maternal uncle Ravi at their house in Haryana’s Sonepat. Little does the toddler know that a day after he last spoke to his father, the constable, posted at Bharat Nagar police station, died while on his way to Delhi’s RML hospital. A day after his death, his COVID-19 result came positive.
On Thursday afternoon, Kumar was cremated at Delhi’s Punjabi Bagh crematorium as per COVID-19 protocol. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted that his family will be given Rs 1 crore compensation, a day after Commissioner of Police S N Shrivastava said he will “move a proposal to the Delhi government for compensation of Rs 1 crore as per policy”.
East Delhi MP Gautam Gambhir also tweeted, “The administration failed him. The system failed him. Delhi failed him. We can’t bring Constable Amit back, but I assure that I will look after his child like my own. GGF (Gautam Gambhir Foundation) will take care of his complete education.”
As the ambulance carrying his body approached the crematorium, police personnel of Northwest district, DCP (Northwest) Vijayanta Arya and Joint CP (Northern range) Manish Aggarwal showered petals on the vehicle. Also present outside the crematorium were Kumar’s father and brother. “No one was allowed inside. The cremation was done by health department officials,” said Arya.
His brother-in-law Ravi, who is currently in Sonepat, told The Indian Express that Kumar’s wife and son have been tested for the virus and the result is awaited.
“For 24 hours, we didn’t tell his wife Pooja that he was no more; we only told her late Wednesday night. It came as a shock to everyone as he was in Sonepat till Saturday and was absolutely fine… We never imagined he would suddenly die. He was only 32,” said Ravi.
On Monday evening, when Kumar spoke to his wife, he told her that he would return home on May 17. Kumar is survived by his wife, son, father and brother, who is a farmer in Sonepat. “He was brave and funny but most importantly, he was a dependable man. That is rare,” said Ravi.
Two of his colleagues, who were with him till the end, too recalled Kumar’s dependability. “Anyone could ask him for help, he would never say no,” said his colleague, who is awaiting his COVID-19 result.
His colleague recalled that “Kumar’s main goal was educating his child”. “On Tuesday, he worried his child and wife might fall sick too. When his wife called, he was breathless but said, ‘don’t worry, I will be fine’,” he said. Hours later, Kumar was dead.
On Thursday, Delhi L-G Anil Baijal tweeted that Kumar “was a great warrior who brought glory to the frontline police personnel fighting against pandemic.”
Kumar’s main duty was driving down to Kamla Nagar police station daily and updating the arrests and FIR data at the Crime Records Office. “On Tuesday, he worried his child and wife might fall sick too. When his wife called, he was breathless but said, ‘don’t worry, I will be fine’,” he said.
Hours later, Kumar was dead. His colleague said, “As I was driving to RML hospital, I was getting calls from his wife, who pleaded over sobs that I keep him alive. He was my friend, my brother… He’s gone too soon. I just want his dream of educating his son to come true now.”
For the last few months, all of us were worried about him because unlike the rest of us, he was on the ground.
We have worked together for eight years. We were posted at the 2nd Battalion for two years after training was over, then at Mahindra Park police station for four years, and at Bharat Nagar police station for over two years.
I am in touch with his brother, and the Joint CP spoke to his wife and offered his condolences
News of policemen getting COVID-19 scared us…
“he was deeply saddened by the news of the death of Delhi Police constable Amit… He
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