The Punjab Police has lost 21 of its personnel, including 11 Assistant sub-inspectors (ASIs), to Covid-19 after they got infected in the line of duty. While maximum 10 deaths were recorded in August, the force has already reported seven fatalities within the first week of September.
Of the 21 who died, 11 were above 50 years of age, eight were in their 40s and two in their thirties. They include 11 ASIs, four constables, three Punjab Home Guards (PHGs), and one Assistant commissioner of police (ACP), a ministerial staff member and a head constable, each.
While Ludhiana district recorded three deaths (two from city police and one from rural police), two deaths each were reported from Amritsar city police, Fatehgarh Sahib, Kapurthala, Tarn Taran, Sri Muktsar Sahib, and the Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB).
As per the data compiled by the Punjab Police, a total of 3,857 of its personnel, that is 4.82% of the 80,000-strong force, has tested positive of which 2,249 have recovered, and 1,587 are active cases. The force has got 46,431 RT-PCR tests done, indicating that approximately 58% of Punjab Police has been tested, as per the data from the state police chief’s office.
Ludhiana, which has reported maximum Covid cases in Punjab, also tops the list when it comes to police personnel getting the infection. The district has reported 471 positive cases.
A break up of the total cases shows that Ludhiana city police reported maximum 313 cases, followed by Ferozepur police (273), Patiala police (235), Sangrur police (231), Amritsar city police (170), Jalandhar rural police (142), Bathinda police (136), Mansa police (136), Ludhiana rural police (122), Mohali police (106), Kapurthala police (104), Jalandhar city police (101), Faridkot police (97), Gurdaspur police (95), Fatehgarh Sahib police (92), Moga police (91), Tarn Taran police (88), Batala police (85), Barnala police (84), Hoshiarpur police (76), Fazilka police (75), Ropar police (67), Muktsar police (66), SBS Nagar police (44), Amritsar rural police (41), Pathankot police (38) and Khanna police (36).
Among the special wings of the police and other forces, Punjab Armed Police reported 172 cases, followed by the Indian Reserve Battalion (127), Intelligence Wing (122), Anti-drug Special Task Force (45), Punjab Police Academy (42), Commandos (37), Special Protection Unit (32), Bureau of Investigation (24), Vigilance Bureau (22) among others.
The data further reveals that at least five police personnel died the day they were admitted to the hospital while four others died the next day. Two died after battling the virus for 14 days, one after 15 days, two each after 12 and six days. One of them died five days after reaching the health centre, one after three days and two others after two days.
While 14 of them died at government run facilities, one died at home and others at private hospitals or nursing homes.
PPS officer Anil Kohli (52), who died on April 18, was the first Covid casualty for Punjab Police. He was posted as Ludhiana ACP (north).
AIG Jasdeep Singh, staff officer to the DGP, said, “In some cases, deaths happened on the day the patient was admitted to the hospital. In most cases, there were co-morbidities such as hypertension and diabetes. In each district, nodal officers have been appointed to take care of each personnel getting infected and monitor their recovery.”
In the line of duty…
Those who have lost their lives to Covid while performing their frontline duties are: Ludhiana ACP (north) Anil Kohli (52), ASI Jaspal Singh (48) from Ludhiana city police, ASI Laskhar Singh (51) and ASI Kamaljit Singh (49) from Kapurthala Police, ASI Davinder Singh (51) and constable Manjeet Singh (48) from Fatehgarh Sahib police, ASI Parambir Singh (53) and constable Gurwinder Singh (37) from Sri Muktsar Sahib Police, ASI Harish Kumar (45) from Gurdaspur Police, ASI Gurbaksh Singh (52) from Ludhiana rural police, ASI Rajwinder Singh (50) from Patiala Police, ASI Bhupinder Singh (48) from Ferozepur police, ASI Harbhajan Singh (52) and PHG Manjeet Singh (50) from Tarn Taran, ASI Baldev Singh (56) from Bathinda, constable Gurtej Singh (40) and head constable Baldev Singh (53) from IRB, constable Jaspal Singh (31) from CM security team, PHGs Nirmal Singh (49) and Babek Singh (40) from Amritsar and Hardeep Kaur (52), senior assistant from Police Lines Faridkot.
Ex-gratia for kin
The data further reveals that apart from 1,587 active cases in Punjab Police, 51 personnel are under quarantine while 32 family members of cops are also positive. After ACP Kohli’s death in April, the government had announced Rs 50 lakh ex-gratia and a job in Punjab Police for his son. Asked about the compensation for lower-rank personnel who died, DGP Dinkar Gupta said, “The same government policy, as applied in the case of ACP Kohli, will apply for all the cops who have died battling Covid. Families of all deceased cops, irrespective of the ranks, will be given ex-gratia amount and a government job to one member of the family, depending on their qualifications.”
Punjab Police & Covid
Total cases in Punjab Police: 3,857 (4.8% of total force)
Deaths: 21 (one ACP, 11 ASIs, 4 constables, 1 head constable, 3 home guards, one ministerial staff)
Maximum deaths in August (10) and September (7)
Among 21 dead: Above 50 years of age (11), 49-40 years (8) and 39-30 years (2)
Maximum cases: Ludhiana city police (313), Ferozepur police (273) and Patiala police (235)
Special wings: PAP (172), IRB (127) and Intelligence wing (122)
Total RT-PCR tests: 46,431
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