GUWAHATI, April 26 - As civilians are in the safety of their homes during the covid-19 pandemic, the police and security personnel are on their feet round the clock ensuring law and order, facing all kinds of hardships even while being exposed to the danger of being infected by the virus.
At many checkpoints of the city, the police and security personnel, including SSB personnel, have been manned for more than 10 hours a day, with only a cup of tea and snacks in between, as the eateries and tea stalls have remained closed.
Ajay Malakar, an SSB personnel who has been deployed at the check point at Bhetapara Chariali, said he has been doing his duty with just tea and snacks during the lockdown.
�While on duty, we take milk tea with some biscuits. Most of the time, it is provided by the NGOs and local people. And sometimes, police personnel also provide us with snacks and tea,� he said, adding that at times they too have offered their meal to stranded or needy people.
He said that during the initial days of the lockdown, it was difficult for them to make people understand, but now the situation is much better.
�Despite being repeatedly asked to stay indoors to stop the spread of COVID-19, a few people were seen venturing out with no particular reason. It was much difficult to control the large number of labourers or daily wage earners as well, as they ventured out only to know when the lockdown would be lifted, as they do not possess any kind of news tracking device,� he said. Due to the lockdown, daily wage workers have lost their sources of livelihood.
�To control such situation, sometimes we have to adopt the strictest measures. We have also caned the violators at times,� he added.
As many as 18 security personnel, including SSB, police and civil defence personnel, are deployed at Bhetapara Chariali. Their duty has been divided into three shifts.
Jakir Ali, a constable at Hatigaon Chariali, said he has had to do double-shift duty as well at times.
�We have been working on all these days having only tea and biscuits. Usually, I have my meal before coming to duty,� he said. �But, it is much difficult in the evening shift as I don�t have any vehicle to go back to my rented room at Dispur. I have to ask passersby for a lift. Not long after reaching my room, I have to start cooking again,� he added.
Meanwhile, Ranjit Baruah, founder director of Aromica Tea, said he has been providing tea free of cost to the police personnel for the last 15 days or so.
�We have been providing black tea and milk tea to around 1,500 cops on duty in different parts of the city. The tea is being provided in disposable flasks so that the tea remains hot and fresh,� Baruah added.