The Mamallapuram police on Tuesday conducted a demonstration of new Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for arrests, announced by the Director General of Police J. K. Tripathy, in the wake of the alleged custodial deaths in Sattankulam as well as due to police personnel and prisoners testing positive for COVID-19 across the State.

An important aspect of the new SOP is that the suspects arrested in non-bailable cases, have to be taken to the sub-divisional detention centres instead of a police station. The suspects also have to undergo a COVID-19 test before being produced before a magistrate or remanded in a prison.

To make all the police personnel in Mamallapuram aware of this, a section of personnel organised the arrest demonstration using the new SOPs with the help of a few youngsters, who acted like suspects. Policemen wearing face-shields detained them, and took them in a jeep to the detention centre where their details were registered. “We have taken a building on rent to be used as the sub-divisional detention centre in Mamallapuram. For all the 10 stations we have one centre, and an inspector will be in charge of it,” said a senior police officer.

The policemen first announce the arrest and make the suspect wear gloves and a mask. “After being taken to the detention centre the suspect’s hands will be sanitised and he will be provided with food and will be taken for the COVID-19 test. After this, they will be produced before the magistrate,” added the officer.

If the arrested person tests positive, all the personnel involved in the arrest will be quarantined. All the cases are informed to senior police officers and the arrests and inquiries are monitored by them. “Arrests will be made only in heinous crimes and trivial cases are let off on bail. Minimum physical contact with the suspects should be ensured,” he explained.

The video of the demonstration has been circulated to police personnel in all the stations. “We will also disinfect the police station and vehicles on a regular basis,” added the officer.

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