Lockdown: Assam police lauded for adopting ‘soft’ policing practices

The Assam police is documenting the best practices by its personnel in handling people during the lockdown to be used as templates for epidemics and social crises in the future.

Hours after the countrywide lockdown began, the State police attracted flak for many constables and home guards using the stick and making violators of prohibitory orders undergo other forms of punishment. Clashes with vendors and traders were also reported from western Assam.

Such instances of aggressive policing overshadowed those of “soft policing” that the State police had adopted a couple of years ago.

A message of appreciation from The Paw Foundation, an animal welfare organisation, made Assam’s Director-General of Police Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta decide to record the humanitarian services provided by his force.

“Thank you very much for your help. TPF will always remember the cooperation extended by the Assam police,” said the message from TPF founder Indira Amma, accompanying photos of police personnel feeding stray dogs.

The patience of some policemen with people unable or reluctant to understand the gravity of the threat from COVID-19 has been appreciated. For instance, a constable took almost 15 minutes convincing an elderly woman in Majuli that staying at home was a safer option for her.

Elsewhere, policemen delivered food grains to villagers who ran out of provisions.

On Friday, the police in north-eastern Assam’s Biswanath district dropped an 80-year-old home at Laluk in the adjoining Lakhimpur district from a hospital in Bishwanath Chariali town. The octogenarian, Khagen Baruah, had been exhausted after walking from a place 100 km away. Mr. Baruah had been stranded as the lockdown was declared the night before he was supposed to board a bus home.

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Printable version | Mar 1, 2021 6:53:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/lockdown-assam-police-lauded-for-adopting-soft-policing-practices/article31212097.ece

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