With over 200 policemen quarantined for coming in contact with Covidpositive colleagues, accused and others and eight stations shut for two or more days for sanitisation, senior officers are worried the situation could impact policing.
Police commissioner Bhaskar Rao said he has asked his personnel to go slow on “non-essential” arrests and investigations, given the crisis. But he admitted it was hard for personnel to avoid contact with the public, given the nature of police work.
“I myself had to enter Padarayanapura, a containment zone,” Rao said. “We have directed all personnel to be at their cautious best and follow safety rules. I have asked DCPs to provide hot water and soap in stations so personnel can wash their hands frequently.”
The Padarayanapura violence in April has resulted in about 60 personnel being quarantined. “By mid- July, the number may cross 300,” said a senior officer. However, none of the quarantined cops has tested positive so far, he added.
On Thursday, Central Crime Branch (CCB) downed shutters after an accused arrested in a cybercrime case tested positive. This is the first time since September 16, 1971 — when CCB began operations — that the office has been closed. Joint commissioner of police (crime) Sandeep Patil said, “We may reopen CCB after three or four days.”
Also, a sub-inspector attached to Shankarapuram police station in south division tested positive. “His wedding was scheduled for next week. It has been postponed and the SI has been quarantined,” a senior officer said.
DCP (south) RohiniSepatKatoch said 11 staffers from Jayanagar police station have been quarantined after they caught a thief, who was elusive since mid-2018 and tested positive after arrest. “The suspect was accused of stealing cash in a petrol bunk,” she said.
A sub-inspector recalled the chaos when a Hoysala driver tested positive in north Bengaluru recently. “Three drove the same vehicle in shifts. After one was hospitalised, the other two refused to drive the vehicle. As a result, the Hoysala remained parked for four days,” he said.