Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said on Sunday that the police in the state “are exhausted but have not lost their courage” in the fight against Covid-19.
Deshmukh was speaking to the media after a visit to the Pune Union of Working Journalists. “Since the beginning of lockdown, the police force along with other Covid warriors have fought the battle against the disease day in and day out. Many police personnel contracted the infection while doing [so] and over 200 have lost [their] lives. After over five months of this battle, our police are exhausted but have surely not lost their courage.”
Deshmukh listed various steps undertaken to deal with the increasing number of cases among cops and measures for relief of those who have contracted the disease and families of personnel who have died.
According to data from the state police, 21,151 personnel out of the two-lakh-strong police force have been reported to have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, of which 3,640 are active cases as of Sunday morning. As many as 217 cops, including 22 officers and 195 constabulary staff, have died of the viral infection.
“In every police jurisdiction, the respective chiefs — commissioners or superintendents — are trying to ensure that every cop testing positive gets immediate and adequate attention. They are trying to ensure that infected personnel get the best medical treatment. Family members of personnel who have died are getting ex-gratia compensation of Rs 65 lakh from different schemes, including police welfare funds and insurance cover. Loss of a family member cannot be compensated, but we believe that this will provide support to the kin. We have also announced that family members of the deceased personnel will be allowed to stay in their allotted government housing till the retirement date of the personnel in question. During these times, we have even allowed cops on their way to retirement to stay on in their government-allotted housing,” Deshmukh said.
He also said personnel aged above 55 were allowed to take salaried leave and those aged between 50 and 55 had received “low-risk” duties.
“In a step that we believe will be a respite to our exhausted police force, we have announced recruitment of 12,500 personnel. Specifically in context of the Maratha reservation, we will keep aside some vacancies and take into account all legal aspects. There will not be any injustice on any section of our society,” Deshmukh said.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines