A Karnataka State Reserve Police Force (KSRP) officer has died in a reported suicide on Tuesday morning in Bengaluru. According to Indiranagar Police, the 49-year-old head constable with the 4th battalion of KSRP was being transported to a designated hospital in a police bus after his test results came back positive. However, his body was found in the bus when it reached the hospital.
Previous reports of suicide have also emerged in the state during the coronavirus pandemic. The first such incident was reported on April 27, when a 50-year-old man who had been admitted ti the COVID-19 ward of Victoria Hospital also died by suicide. There have also been reports of suicide by individuals who were kept in institutional quarantine, particularly among interstate returnees.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, four more police officers, who were placed under institutional quarantine in Marathahalli since Friday, tested positive. The four were part of the 11-member team who had arrested four accused from Hosur in Tamil Nadu. They were put in institutional quarantine after one of the accused tested positive.
The state’s police force has till date seen three policemen succumbing to the disease.
With the high increase in cases among police personnel in the state, Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Monday had demanded dedicated testing centres for the police force, following a meeting with Chief Minister BS Yeddiyurappa.
In wake of the increasing cases, City Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao on Sunday ordered all police staff in the city above the age of 55 to remain at home as they are more vulnerable. For this period, he said staying home will be counted as duty for these staff.
Alok Kumar, Additional Director General of Police (KSRP) said the constable was alone in the vehicle. He spoke to the driver for a few minutes and later took the extreme step. Other staff were following the mini-bus, on a two-wheeler and in a jeep.
The constable was under quarantine and was part of the security force in lockdown-hit areas.
Alok Kumar said there were several policemen infected by the virus and due to treatment and mental strength, they were recovering. In Shivamogga, Hassan and Bengaluru, several infected policemen have recovered. It is very important for everyone to take preventive measures to avoid the infection, he said. “In case of infection, they should be mentally strong and be positive that they will be cured. Taking such extreme steps is not the solution,” he added.
Till Monday night, the number of police officers who contracted the infection in Bengaluru alone was 59, with 49 of them currently hospitalised. A total of six police stations were also shut down temporarily for sanitisation and fumigation purposes.