Six days after imposing home quarantine to Bihar cadre IPS officer Vinay Tiwari, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has finally granted exemption to the officer from a full quarantine but with riders. Even as this the Patna Central SP can return back to his home state, the civic body has made it mandatory for the officer to furnish his "Return" flight ticket and stated that he should leave Maharashtra by August 8.
The move comes following a request - letter dated August 6 by Bihar Police stating that " his presence was no longer required in Mumbai". The civic body in turn wrote back to the Bihar police addressed to Jitendra Kumar - Additional Director General of Police (Patna) stated "it was surprising and unfortunate that a visiting senior officer before proceeding to Maharashtra didnot acquaint himself of the covid quarantine guidelines issued by the Govt. of Maharashtra." The letter further said that above guidelines were available in the public domain.
The letter by Additional Municipal Commissioner (Projects) P Velarasu that exempts Tiwari states : "Considering that is only fifth day of his (Tiwari's) arrival and since the request to exempt from home isolation to go back to Patna has come from Patna police and considering the provision in the SOP to exempt passengers on short duration visit it is hereby decided to exempt Vinay Tiwari from Home quarantine subject to fulfilling the following conditions."
As per SOP dated May 25, 2020 issued by the Government. of Maharashtra, 'passengers who are coming to the state for short duration (less than a week) and have planned for onward / return journey will have to share the details of the same and will be exempted from isolation.'
This is not the first time the Bihar police had requested the Mumbai civic body to exempt the Patna SP from the alleged "forceful" home quarantine. Tiwari, (City Superintendent of Police- Patna Central) who was in Mumbai to monitor the investigation by a team of Bihar Police into actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death was quarantined by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Sunday after he arrived from Patna.
On July 3, Sanjay Singh, Inspector General (IG) of Police (Central Region) Patna, wrote to BMC chief seeking exemption from home quarantine for Tiwari, the civic body turned down the request of the Bihar Police on the very next day. In a reply to the Bihar Police, through its letter dated August 4 turned down the request for exemption and stated that Tiwari should stay in quarantine and use digital platforms for his proceedings and interact with concerned officials in Mumbai.
Velrasu in his reply dated August 4 advised Tiwari to conduct his proceedings pertaining to investigation using digital platforms. The letter stated: “In view of the prevailing coronavirus pandemic situation in Bihar, it is advised that the officer can conduct his proceedings with various concerned officials of the Govt of Maharashtra on digital platforms such as Zoom/Google Meet/Jio Meet/ Microsoft Teams or other such digital platforms to interact. This will not only ensure that the officer does not transmit the infection (if at all he is asymptomatic of covid19 infection) to the officials with whom he will contact, nor he gets infected by coronavirus during his physical visits to various officials of the Govt. of Maharashtra” Velrasu's letter to Patna IG Singh stated.
In his letter Velarasu further warns that the officer (Tiwari) has to be in compliance with all the rules and regulations prevailing in the state of Maharashtra.
The Bihar Police team is probing an “abetment to suicide” case on the basis of a complaint filed by the actor’s father in Patna in July. Tiwari is in the city to monitor the investigation by the Bihar police team in Mumbai.
In a statement, the BMC stated that Tiwari was quarantined as per the rules for domestic air travellers. “He (Tiwari) has also been guided to apply to the competent authority of MCGM (Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai) for exemption in the home quarantine period,” it said.
However, questions have been raised why the four officers who earlier came to Mumbai in connection with the case on July 27 were not similarly quarantined by the civic body. Tiwari on Monday alleged that the BMC has selectively quarantined him.
Sources however said that Tiwari's exemption leading his way to his home state was only after the CBI took over the case.
The civic body has meanwhile asked the officer to fulfil a few conditions for the exemptions: "He shall leave Maharashtra before the seventh day of the start of the quarantine period ( before August 8, 2020). He shall furnish the return ticket details to the additional Municipal commissioners office. He shall travel to the airport in a private car and take all precautions expected from air passengers by the SOP dated May 25.