As extensive police deployment continued in Pune district to enforce the lockdown, sporadic instances of arguments between local residents and police personnel, and at least one instance of a citizen getting beaten up by a police official, have come to light.
After Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday announced a statewide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Pune City Police also issued orders to prohibit all vehicular traffic on city roads, except for essential and emergency services. In spite of the ban, people were still seen coming on the roads in spite of appeals to stay indoors.
Personnel from all three police jurisdictions — Pune City, Pimpri Chinchwad and Pune Rural — have been deployed on roads across the district to implement lockdown orders.
“We know that there have been arguments in sporadic cases. There might also be instances where police have to use stern language or even force. But no one disagree sthat the situation calls for it. If not implemented like this, the lockdown will not be enforced at all. If there are any instances where policemen have overstepped, action is being taken,” said a police officer.
He added, “I will also appeal to citizens to be understand policemen and women, and officers for what they are going through. The job is not easy, their families are extremely worried and then they have to go back to family members after spending a full day out. It’s a very stressful duty in an extermely stressful time. Exceptional wrong instances are being taken care of. There are constant efforts on the side of senior officers to keep the morale of the force high.”
On Monday, a video believed to have been shot in Sinhagad Road area in Pune, in which a policeman was seen beating up bike-borne persons with a baton, was circulated on social media platforms. One more such video surfaced on Tuesday, when a police officer in Pimpri-Chinchwad jurisdiction is seen beating a young boy with a baton. The video was allegedly posted by the officer himself on TikTok. Action has been initiated against the officer.
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