KOCHI: After a direction issued by Thodupuzha DySP warning department-level action against those police officials who have to go under quarantine for suspected Covid- 19 infection kicked up a row, State Police Chief Loknath Behera on Saturday intervened withdrawing the controversial direction stating that senior officers should desist from actions that affected the morale of the police personnel.Behera, in a statement, instructed senior police officers to not put police officers in lower ranks under stress and pressure by issuing such orders.
It was on Friday that the controversial notice was issued to all station house officers (SHOs) under Thodupuzha sub-division. As per the notice issued by Thodupuzha DySP, the officers who are taking leave or rest from duty should strictly follow Covid-19 safety protocol maintaining social distancing and be vigilant to avoid quarantine. “In any circumstance, when an officer gets quarantined, the officer concerned should bear the expense and will be subjected to department-level action,” it said.
Though Kattappana DySP also issued a similar order directing police personnel to avoid unnecessary journeys during leave period, it didn’t mention any department-level action. But it said if a police officer had to go under quarantine, the officer should bear the treatment expenses.
“The officials have been deployed on duty in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic and are on the streets as part of their job. There are possibilities of contracting the virus while on duty,” said a police officer with Thodupuzha police station who requested anonymity. However, when contacted K K Sajeevan, DySP, Thodupuzha, said the direction was intended to ensure high-level of vigilance among police personnel.