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Chhattisgarh: Pregnant DSP out on streets asking people to remain indoors during lockdown

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(This story originally appeared in on Apr 20, 2021)

A five-month pregnant deputy superintendent of police was seen on streets of Dantewada in Chhattisgarh in the scorching heat urging commuters to follow Covid-19 restrictions.

The woman cop was seen marching on the road with a stick in hand along with her patrolling team instructing citizens to remain indoors.

DSP Shilpa Sahu (29) though took a break from anti-Maoist operations for a while, feels perfectly fit to ‘man’ the territory.

As the district reels under lockdown since April 18, this officer said that given the circumstances and need of the hour, she felt duty-bound towards society and her work, hence, taking all precautions, she went out to take control.

Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel applauded Sahu’s gesture stating that she had presented an example in the society.

“Dantewada’s DSP Shilpa Sahu has become an inspiration due to her work during difficult times of pandemic. Despite being pregnant, she came out on streets as part of her duty and was seen taking to task the violators of Covid prevention guidelines during the lockdown,” Baghel said while chairing a virtual meeting with officials of Bastar division.

Speaking to TOI, Sahu, who hails from Durg district said, “When Covid breakout has become so grim across the state, I felt it essential and duty-bound to make people understand about their responsibility towards themselves and the society. Moreover, it is a strong message conveyed to public that being pregnant, if I have to step out requesting people to remain indoors, they should abide by the rules. Our district team is out to prevent further spread of the infection. I have been requesting everyone ‘We are out on roads for your protection and you remain in homes for everyone’s protection.”

Amid acclamations Shilpa had to face criticism too as the trolls became active calling it a careless move and not an act of courage or inspiration.

There were groups on Facebook and Twitter pointing out that senior officers should have prevented a pregnant policewoman going out on duty when everybody around is vulnerable.

Dantewada SP Abhishek Pallava reiterated that it is always a woman’s choice if she feels fit enough to go out during her pregnancy.

“She has taken a break from operations inside forests, but other tasks that she chooses to do are based on how fit she feels and whenever she wishes to avail maternity leave, she can. Pregnancy can’t be a professional hazard for a policewoman. Moreover, when people would see her out despite having an option to remain indoors, they would feel ashamed of violating Covid-appropriate behaviour,” Pallava said.

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