PUNJAB POLICE ROPES IN 4336 VOLUNTEERS IN 10 DISTRICTS ON PILOT FOR ON-GROUND RELIEF OPERATIONS & CURFEW ENFORCEMENT

CHANDIGARH, APRIL 9:  To further ramp up its response mechanism and ensure effective supervision of COVID-19 related relief operations, the Punjab Police has roped in volunteers to join the DIAL 112 workforce to support the over 40,000-strong force working on the ground.

Launched on a pilot basis in 10 districts so far, the scheme has already led to enrolment of 4336 volunteers to work closely with the Punjab police delivery of essential services and other relief as well as enforcement work at the ground level. The districts covered are: Amritsar City (270), Amritsar Rural (83), Bathinda (370), Fazilka (343), Ferozepur (239),  Jalandhar City (267), Ludhiana City (1602), Ludhiana Rural (388), SAS Nagar (272) and Patiala (502). However, the services of these volunteers are also being used in other districts, on need basis.

Disclosing this here today, Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta said that the Punjab Police had invited volunteers on social media, urging them to join the police efforts in these challenging times. The response had been quite good, he added.

These DIAL 112 volunteers, as they are called, are assisting the police in various functions including, preparation of ration packets & their distribution, traffic regulation and enforcement of curfew, providing emergency medical help/medicines, distribution of sanitary pads, besides distributing food packets to the force deployed on duty. 

The Punjab Police decided to enroll volunteers as the number of calls received on the DIAL 112 Emergency Response Service (ERS), which was converted to Curfew Helpline, had gone up phenomenally in recent days, to touch 24,000 per day. To meet the unprecedented demand, the helpline response capacity has already been doubled, said the DGP.

The calls received are forwarded to 112 District Control Rooms for immediate resolution. The police force on the ground has the task of addressing all public requirement and addressing all grievances/complaints. Given the increasing pressure on the ground force, it was decided to take on the services of volunteers, said Gupta.

Problems relating to shortage of food and medicines are dealt with on priority by the District police units and the Dial 112 volunteers assisting the police through SAANJH – Community Policing Initiative. The DGP said ADGP community Affairs, 

Gurpeet Deo, and AIG Intelligence, Kanwardeep Kaur, were handling their entire operation. 

As of today, a total of 40089562 unit meals of dry ration and 5350698 packets of cooked food have been provided to the needy by the Punjab Police in association with NGOs, Gurdwaras and general public. 

Villagers, supported by the volunteers and the police personnel, are also ensuring voluntary lockdown in many areas, said the DGP, adding that out of 13241 villages, 11638 have been fully sealed, which amounts to 88 percent of the villages in Punjab.

As far as curfew enforcement is concerned, Gupta revealed that on Thursday, 381 FIRs were been registered, 568 persons arrested, 186 vehicles impounded and 1499 persons taken to open jails. Apart from these, four FIRs have also been registered against the persons indulged in spreading fake news on social media.

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