The coronavirus pandemic had badly hit the police force in the state, with over 290 policemen succumbed to the disease and thousands being infected with the virus ever since its outbreak early this year. As a precautionary measure, the Mumbai Police had asked its personnel above 55 years of age with pre-existing ailments to go on a leave in April until further notice.
Sources claim that these personnel are likely to resume work post-Diwali in full force to minimise the work pressure on the city police. While some of the policemen above 55 years of age have voluntarily resumed duty, the decision to call others is being highly considered.
An official said on condition of anonymity that when the rule was implemented, the city was on lockdown, with major movement restrictions in place. During this lockdown, only quarter of the population stepped out for essential services. From nakabandis to checking every citizen for their reason to step out and managing the crowds at several places, along with managing the people who were home-bound due to lockdown which rendered them jobless was all on the police force.
"With this, the policing was mainly focused on lockdown violators who stepped out without a valid reason, more than others. As the unlock procedure began and restrictions were brought down in phases, a number of citizens began stepping out of their homes, causing huge crowds and traffic management," the official said. Considering the crowd management situations and the added pressure of policemen above 55 years of age being on leave, the decision to call them back to resume duty after Diwali is likely to be made.
The personnel above 55 years of age, when called to resume duty will be allowed to transition in work mode smoothly. "These personnel will be given desk jobs initially to minimize their exposure in the field as well as they will be asked to work for 12 hours, followed by a 48-hour rest period to not rush them, affecting their health. Stress management and yoga sessions are also likely to be held to relieve them of any pressure and counseling will be given to ensure their mental well-being," said a senior official.