Bangalore city police commissioner Bhaskar Rao
BENGALURU: Detaining a suspect or arresting a habitual offender? Ensure the accused has taken a bath and changed his/her clothes before picking him/her up. This is a directive from Bengaluru city police commissioner Bhaskar Rao to his force following a surge in the police personnel testing positive in recent weeks.
The Bengaluru city police force, numbering around 16,000, is under tremendous pressure after 38 personnel tested positive. Two have died in a span of four days and 350 are in quarantine. Rattled, Rao has directed his force to follow all precautionary measures, especially while handling suspects.
“When you detain a suspect, make sure s/he has a bath immediately. This is not possible in all cases, but it should be done if there is an opportunity,” Rao said. “If an arrest is being made at home, ask them to bathe there or take them to the nearest public bathroom. Ensure s/he changes clothes and subject them to proper sanitising before taking them into the station. Subject them to a Covid-19 test immediately and make sure the suspect is kept at a distance until results are out. Staff who come in contact with the suspect must sanitize themselves.”
He went on to say, “It is a tough situation, but we have to work and there is no alternative other than precautionary measures.”
Many small-time criminals have been carriers of the virus and have infected cops, who also spread it to colleagues and family members, while some stations have had to be shut and sanitised. At least 40 police deployed in Padarayanapura were quarantined after four who were arrested for indulging in violence tested positive. And 11 from Jayanagar police station were quarantined after an accused they arrested in a theft case tested positive.
“Despite such incidents, crime teams are probing cases and still visiting neighbouring states like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. However, we are staying away from Maharashtra for now,” a senior police officer said.