Wearing a mask is a necessity in the corona-affected world. However, this safety precaution makes it difficult to recognize people. Recently, a woman civil police officer (CPO) was reportedly sent on punitive duties after she failed to recognize a senior wearing plainclothes and a mask in Kerala. The incident occurred when IPS officer Aishwarya Dongre, the new DCP of Kochi, was visiting the women’s police station attached to the Ernakulam North police station as part of an inspection drive.
According to News18, when the DCP walked into the station wearing plainclothes, the CPO on duty at the entrance stopped her and asked her for identification. The DCP immediately sought an explanation from the officer for blocking her entry. However, she was not satisfied with her response and transferred the CPO to two-day traffic duty as punishment for failing to recognize her.
— TNIE Kerala (@xpresskerala) January 15, 2021
As per reports, Dongre had assumed charge as DCP only two weeks back and the city’s police personnel were not really familiar with her. However, the incident didn’t sit too well with police bodies. The officials from the Kerala Police Association (KPA) took up the matter with the police headquarters saying the CPO was only discharging her duties, reports The New Indian Express. Senior official NV Nishad was quoted saying,
“Since it is the COVID-19 situation, the senior officer was wearing a mask. Sometimes we don’t even recognise people whom we meet daily. The constable was following Covid-19 protocols.”
Deputy Commissioner of Police Aishwarya Dongre has courted controversy for giving punishment duty to a woman civil police officer who failed to recognise the young IPS officer who came to the station in mufti. #Kochi #Police@SPC_Kerala@TheKeralaPolice 🙏 https://t.co/KrJG0SoufI
— Raam Das (@PRamdas_TNIE) January 14, 2021
Expressing his displeasure, Kochi Police Commissioner Nagaraju C H advised the DCP against taking such measures in the future. He even attributed the incident to the young and new DCP’s “inexperience”. Dongre is the youngest IPS officer in the city. Kerala’s Home department also reprimanded Dongre for her behaviour. He asked her to not misbehave with Kochi civil and police officials as they are already suffering enough work-load.
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