Chandigarh, March 31
Amid the continuing curfew/lockdown in the state, Punjab Chief Minister today ordered extension in the services of all retiring Police personnel and Home Guards by two months, to strengthen the citizen outreach on the ground. Further, to ease the pressure on the police force, of whom 44,546 were in the field today to enforce restrictions and conduct relief operations on war footing, around 1300 cops have been judiciously withdrawn from VVIP duty, including a significant number from CM security, to join the battle in the COVID-19 lockdown on the ground.
CM had earlier authorized DGP Dinkar Gupta to pull out any number of police personnel from his personal security, or that of other VIP protectees, for deployment for COVID-19 crisis management, as he may deem fit. Expressing concern about the welfare and morale of thousands of police personnel, who had been performing field duties without rest or relief, over the past several days, the Chief Minister had directed mobilization of maximum police force through withdrawal from security duties. The DGP said further withdrawals would be made based on evaluation of the threat scenario, which was in progress, and through graded reduction. More security persons from district force and Armed Battalions will be withdrawn and organized into reserves, he said, adding that extensive mobilisation of the force had been planned and will be undertaken in a phased manner. The DGP said due care was being taken to deploy the police personnel in their home districts as far as possible. Chief Minister, who is personally monitoring and reviewing the COVID and curfew related situation on a day-to-day basis, has also asked the police and civil administration to ensure all steps to protect and provide for the homeless and the migrant labour stranded in Punjab due to the sudden lockdown. In this connection, he spoke to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and apprised him of the arrangements being made for such migrants from Bihar. Captain Amarinder also asked Nitish to assure the families of these migrants back in Bihar that they were being fully looked after by Punjab and Punjabis during these testing times.