With the duty to protect their countrymen and acting as the front line warriors of the COVID-19, cops in the national capital have been left worried as the pandemic has burdened them with investigation in over 100,000 cases.
As per the data accessed by Sputnik, the Delhi Police had 91,307 pending cases before the start of this year. Over 105,210 more cases were added to the tally till 15 May this year, the data revealed.
“Before the nationwide lockdown was announced, Delhi Police managed to solve as many as 51,764 cases. But during the lockdown period (starting from 25 March), they could only solve 29,565 cases till 27 May. Investigation in over 117,840 cases is still pending,” the data shows.
Sources in the Delhi police revealed that most of the pending cases are of theft, robbery, snatching, cheating etc while they makes it a top most priority to dispose of all the heinous crime cases.
Officials revealed that over 14,000 cases have been pending for over a year while investigation in over 7,000 is due from the past two years. “There are around 3,000 cases which have been unsolved from the last 5 years,” the police official said.
According to the police, although the increase in pending cases are a sign of worry but their officers have been working 24/7 to make sure people stayed inside their houses and didn’t step out unnecessarily during the lockdown.
“Over the last 7-8 months, our personnel have been on the roads maintaining law and order, (handling everything) from disputes with lawyers to fee hike protests at India’s Premier Jawaharlal Nehru University and anti-Citizenship Law protests across the city (of Delhi), rather than (conducting investigations). Now with the pandemic hitting the country, our forces have been deployed to ensure nobody violates the lockdown norms,” a senior police officer of Delhi Police said.
Delhi’s Police chief S.N. Shrivastava has directed the personnel to dispose of the investigation in the pending cases as soon as possible.
Some of the senior police officials in other states revealed that their personnel are doing their best with the limited resources available to them.
“With the limited staff and the pandemic hitting the country, it has become a little difficult to handle everything (maintaining law and order, look into cases, ensure there are no violations of lockdown rules). The number of pending cases has increased over the past 2-3 months but our staff are doing their best to ensure the safety of people,” said a senior police official from the Haryana Police.
Another senior police officer, from Uttar Pradesh, revealed that hundreds of police personnel tasked with protecting the people are getting infected with the virus but that has not stopped the others from performing their duties.
"We are mostly criticised for not performing or for our actions, but our staff has tackled all the situations with the utmost care. Personnel who have been infected while performing their duties are recovering and returning the very next day for the public," the officer from Uttar Pradesh said.
According to UN data, India only has 153 police personnel for every 100,000 people.
Responding to an increase in the number COVID-19 cases, India's Prime Minister imposed a countrywide lockdown to combat the virus on 25 March. In each of the five stages of India's lockdown process, the Indian government has relaxed several sectors to boost the economy.