With lockdown 2.0 being imposed in the state from Wednesday 8 pm, Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Sanjay Pandey, who has been given additional charge as the director general of police (DGP), appealed to citizen across Maharashtra to follow the lockdown measures and assured that the Maharashtra police will not use force unnecessarily.
The DGP said that the lockdown is for public welfare and most of the essential services, including public transport, will remain operational for the convenience of the people. People also have been allowed to use private vehicles for emergencies, he said.
Unlike last time, we have removed the need for essential service passes for travel. But Pandey requested people to avoid unnecessary travel.
“We have instructed all our personnel not to stop people with genuine reasons or emergencies and neither to use force. We have instructed them not to penalise citizens if the reason for their travel is genuine,” said Pandey. We have also instructed the force to restrain using force unless and until it's absolutely necessary and if the violations are deliberate, added Pandey.
The DGP has requested people to take care of themselves, as the situation was worsening, and to follow all the COVID-19-appropriate behaviour. He added that if the restrictions are followed, then the situation will improve in 15 days.
As the state is going into a lockdown phase, all its police force of over 2 lakh personnel will be on the ground imposing the regulations. The force will be supported by 22 companies of SRPF and around over 13,000 home guards. Three companies of SRPF have been stationed in Mumbai with two in Nagpur, added Pandey.
As Maharashtra has been the worst affected state, its police force has also faced heavy losses in the pandemic. So far, the state police (excluding Mumbai city) has lost 373 police personnel owing to COVID-19. The number of personnel affected (excluding Mumbai city) has reached 36,728 since March last year. Currently, the force has 3,160 active cases and 10,304 are quarantined. 81 percent of police force has taken the first shot of the vaccine, while the second jab was taken by 39-40 per cent of the force.