For kin of officers who died of COVID-19, other worries pile up

Assistant SI Shesh Mani Pandey died due to COVID-19 on May 30 and on Wednesday, his wife and younger son tested positive for the virus. According to his elder son, the pitiable condition of LNJP Hospital has added to their miseries. Mr. Pandey was posted at the fingerprint bureau of the Crime Branch.

The Hindu spoke to families of three such policemen who died of COVID-19 and they shared their stories in the aftermath.

Pandey’s 32-year-old elder son said his mother and brother’s test results were received on Wednesday and the department officials suggested to take her to Lok Nayak Hospital. But the condition he saw made him decide to shift his mother to a facility in Paharganj.

“My mother complained of chest pain on Wednesday and I took her to Lok Nayak Hospital emergency. We were waiting outside when an officer asked us to enter from the rear side. My mother was made to sit. Later, someone told us that she was sitting next to a body,” he said, adding that he had to stay at a distance from his mother.

He said no social distancing was being practised in the hospital and “there was so much chaos that no one knew where to go and whom to meet”. He then shifted his mother and brother to a Delhi Police facility in Paharganj, “which is much better than the hospital”. Mr. Krishna said the police department has been helpful.

In Sonipat, late Constable Amit Kumar’s wife Pooja found out that she is pregnant with her second child on the 13th day of his death. Amit had died on May 5 after he was allegedly denied admission by hospitals and care centres. Ms. Pooja and her 3-year-old son had tested positive. However, later they tested negative and returned home. “Thodi si khushi hui. Ki bacchon ke sahaare jeevan kat jaega [Felt a little happy, thinking I’ll be able to live with the help of my children],” she cried.

Commissioner S.N. Shrivastava had offered a job in the force to Ms. Pooja but she said she is a contractual teacher in a civic body school. “Since 2011, I am on contract. I have taken exams to become a permanent teacher also. I just want to request the Delhi government if they can make me a permanent teacher so I am able to give my children a dignified life,” she added.

ASI Vikram, who was posted in Sultanpuri police station, also died of COVID-19 on May 31. His son complained that no official has contacted them after the day the last rites were performed.

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Printable version | Dec 4, 2020 12:09:58 AM |

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