THE Maharashtra state government has requested the Centre to send 20 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) to help out state police personnel, who are facing both the increasing burden of Covid-related duties and rising number of cases.
“With several police personnel testing positive for Covid-19, long and challenging work hours are leaving Maharashtra Police stretched. Ramzan Eid is also on May 25. To help maintain law and order, the state has requested 20 companies of CAPF to be deployed.” Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said in a video posted on Twitter.
A company of a security force usually consists of 120 personnel. The CAPF is an umbrella term for forces under the Union Home Ministry which include the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Border Security Force (BSF) and Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP). The Assam Rifles (AR), National Security Guard (NSG) and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) are also classified as CAPF.
On Tuesday, Deshmukh had told The Indian Express that as a precautionary measure to prevent spread of infection among police force, nearly 23,000 police personnel between 50 to 55 years old are being given low-risk police station tasks while 12,000 more, who are above 55, have been asked to stay home. The number of Covid cases among the 2.2 lakh- strong Maharashtra Police is rising, especially among local police personnel from Mumbai, Thane, Malegaon or personnel of the Maharashtra State Reserve Police Force, (SRPF) who were deployed in these high-risk areas.
At present, over 40 companies of SRPF are deployed across Maharashtra to assist local police units perform Covid duties. The police are presently deployed at hospitals, quarantines centres, check points and at the borders of the districts, in contact tracing and home quarantine monitoring systems and for facilitation of travel permits, in addition to routine police duties.
Meanwhile, officials from the Maharashtra Police headquarters clarified on Wednesday that the number of police personnel diagnosed with Covid-19, mentioned as 1,007 in a press note on May 11, was incorrect. It is 925 as on Wednesday morning.
“In the press report given out on morning of May 11, the number of Covid-positive personnel in Maharashtra Police force was given as 1,007. The number was the result of a tabulation error while collating data from around 50 police units from across the state. We have now corrected that error and the number stands at 925 as on Wednesday morning, which includes 100 officers and 825 constables,” said an officer from Maharashtra State Police headquarters.
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