Ranchi: With the police stations having limited number of lockups for keeping the accused persons, ensuring social distancing norms among them is proving to be a challenge for the cops.
In several police stations, the accused are being kept in barracks under the surveillance of security guards. The empty women’s locks ups are also housing the men in order to maintain the social distancing norms.
The challenge is even greater for small police stations like Sadar, Hindpiri, Tupudana and Nagri. For instance, Tupudana station has only one lockup and its officers have no other option but to request the other police stations to keep their accused persons in order to maintain the safety norms.
An officer posted in Sadar police station said that the difficulties crop up when four or more criminals are nabbed and keeping them in a single room may lead to the spread of Covid-19. Citing an example, he said that recently four criminals were caught with a cheque worth Rs 56.42 crore and one of them tested positive, sending the entire police force in a tizzy.
In many cases, police are keeping the accused in different rooms within the police stations.
City SP Saurav said, “We try to maintain social distancing norms as far as possible. If the number of accused is huge, we keep them in other rooms within the police stations where the cops can keep a watch. In some cases, the accused are shifted to other police stations which have more number of rooms.”
A similar situation exists in the neighbouring district of Khunti. “We keep the accused persons in different areas within the police stations and if required, even shift them to other police stations. We also try to make sure that the accused wear masks all the time,” said SP Ashutosh Shekhar.