Delhi Police chief asks senior cops to check migrant exodus amid lockdown

Last week, the Delhi Police Special Branch had alerted all district police personnel that there is a possibility of migrant labourers trying to move out of Delhi-NCR, fearing a sudden lockdown, and if any mass movement is observed, local police should assist them with adequate deployment to speed up the process.

To prevent an exodus during the lockdown, Delhi Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava has directed all 15 DCPs and SHOs to stop movement of migrants and drop them back home if they are found outside during the lockdown without authorisation.

The direction came a day after hundreds of migrant workers gathered at the Anand Vihar Bus Terminal to board buses and head to their states.

“A video conference was called by the police chief with all DCPs, ACPs and SHOs to discuss safety measures taken for Covid and how to implement the lockdown tactfully,” a senior police officer said.

Shrivastava told them that while they have implemented 85% of the lockdown, they should work towards implementing it 100%. “To avoid an exodus situation, he directed all SHOs to stop unauthorised movement of migrant labourers and drop them in a bus provided to all police stations. He also asked to allow only those who have tickets and check all vehicles properly during picket checking,” an officer said.

Delhi Police spokesperson Chinmoy Biswal said, “Delhi Police chief Shrivastava has directed that unnecessary movement of vehicles and people on roads be curbed. He asked officers to be polite, but firm, and also asked field officers to make announcements in colonies and densely populated areas to tell people to obey the curfew, besides strictly checking at the pickets on roads.”

“Shrivastava told them that anyone coming out of home will be definitely checked by police personnel and questioned. In essential services like medicine shops, vegetable shops, social distancing has to be ensured. If anyone is found in disobedience to the restrictions without a genuine ground or exemption, he needs to be prosecuted at once,” Biswal said.

Last week, the Delhi Police Special Branch had alerted all district police personnel that there is a possibility of migrant labourers trying to move out of Delhi-NCR, fearing a sudden lockdown, and if any mass movement is observed, local police should assist them with adequate deployment to speed up the process.

Shrivastava also asked that officers working in the field should not come inside police stations and those working inside should not go outside. “He also asked them to do yoga in the morning and take vitamins,” an officer said.

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