Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday said his government may seek the deployment of central reserve forces in the state to provide some breather to the overstretched and overworked police personnel. Uddhav also denied that there was any plan to deploy the Army in Mumbai.
Maintaining that many were working under enormous stress for the last two months, Uddhav said that there is a need to provide some relief to such overworked workers. So far, 618 policemen in the state have been infected with COVID-19.
“Many people, such as doctors, nurses, revenue officials and police personnel are working under strain. Police officers are tired due to patrolling. Some are falling sick and a few have died while fighting for us. There is also a need to give them a break. So, we may ask for additional manpower from the Centre if required to give rest to the police personnel in phases. But it doesn’t mean that we are calling the Army,” he added.
“Rumours have been going in the last two to three days that Mumbai will be handed over to the Army and all shops will be closed. There is no need of Army at all. I have told you earlier as well that you are the soldiers in this fight against coronavirus.
You are fighting it with patience and grit. There is no need of Army and it (Army) will not come to Mumbai,” Uddhav said while addressing the state through webcast.
He further said that the lockdown is a “speed breaker” and has helped the state in slowing the speed of the disease. “But we have not yet been able to break the chain… We need to break that chain now. We we should follow restrictions strictly to stop the infection from spreading.”
Expressing displeasure that some people were not following lockdown restrictions in cities like Mumbai, Uddhav said that “this only means extending the crisis”.
“If lockdown restrictions are followed strictly, we can come out of the crisis as early as possible. Nobody feels happy in extending the lockdown. The lockdown is like sitting in a cage. Discipline is not being followed in some places, including Mumbai. If we are not disciplined, then it means extending the crisis,” he added.
Referring to the railway accident in Aurangabad, in which 16 migrants were killed after a train ran over them, the CM said:” I am pained… We have started arranging special trains for these migrants to transport them to their states.”
“The trains have started. Don’t believe in any rumours. I request you stay where you are and don’t panic,” he told the migrant population in the state.
On the incident of COVID-19 patients being treated next to corpses in civic-run Sion hospital in Mumbai, Udddhav warned doctors against action if any negligence is found on part of hospitals. “I can’t tolerate negligence. I always say that the police and doctors are like God for us. Nobody should fight with them and they shouldn’t be attacked. Similarly, I want to tell the doctors that there shouldn’t be any negligence on part of hospitals. When everything is going good, don’t put us in a situation that we have to take action against you,” he said.
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