Mumbai: While those working tirelessly at the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19, such as healthcare workers, doctors, civic workers, and policemen, continue to do so putting their lives at risk, some people sitting at home harass these fighters refusing to give them the credit they deserve.
And this is despite the state government warning of stern action against those who ill-treat the people providing essential services.
In an incident of such harassment, a 47-year-old constable posted at Dharavi police station returned home in Kalyan on Friday night, tired from another gruelling day at work, only to face stiff opposition from a neighbour who did not want him to enter the building.
He was made to wait outside and was allowed in only after police intervention. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the constable told The Free Press Journal:
"On Friday night, I reached my building in Kalyan after completing my duty at the police station. I entered my housing society complex, and when I was about to enter my building, a resident from the building raised an objection," alleged the constable.
"While I was at the gate, the resident told me not to come, following which an argument broke out. After waiting for some 20 minutes or so, I approached the local police station. The police then intervened and asked me to go home while they handled the situation," he said.
“The police told the resident that he could not stop an essential service worker, and that this could get him into legal trouble," he added. The local police asked the constable to lodge a formal police complaint.
However, after he was allowed to enter the building, he chose not to pursue the matter further. Dharavi has become a hotspot of the COVID-19 outbreak in the city, with a steady rise in new cases in double digits reported each day.
According to figures released by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation on Saturday, there have been a total of 833 COVID19 cases, including 27 deaths, reported from Dharavi so far. As many as 25 new cases and one fatality were reported on Saturday.