India’s 2007 T20I World Cup hero Joginder Sharma, who is currently serving as a deputy superintendent of police in Hisar district of Haryana, on Friday, gave a glimpse of his role as a cop amid nationwide lockdown in the country due to coronavirus pandemic. Speaking to ESPNCricinfo, Joginder explained that he has to be available for 24 hours in a day as emergency calls can arrive at any time.
“My day starts around six in the morning. Today I started at 9am and am returning home now [8pm]. But I need to be ready for emergency calls, so effectively I am available for duty 24 hours, and I can’t say no,” he said.
He further explained his role as a cop these days: “The area that I need to oversee is mostly in the rural belt of Hisar. Right now it involves guarding various checkposts and instructing not just truck and bus drivers but also common people about the virus. The basic message is: do not get out of the house unless you need to. If someone is outside without any purpose, we can sanction them under various legal acts.”
He further explained that the police allows people to buy essentials. “Of course, if people are out to fetch essential home supplies like groceries or there is a medical emergency, we allow that as long as they are maintaining social distancing, wearing protective gear like masks and respecting the guidelines set by the government.”
Joginder further went on to recall the time when he had to explain a group of migrants that no vehicles were available due to the lockdown. “Personally, one time I got scared was when some groups of migrants were desperate to get back home to Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, even though no modes of transport were working, due to the national lockdown. Me and my team had to stop them and explain the situation to them. Eventually they were moved to makeshift shelter homes. Although we were using megaphones, some interactions had to be on a one-on-one basis. It was tough,” he said.
Because of his duties, Joginder does not want to take a risk, and hence, he does not go back home after completeing his duties. “Although I live in Rohtak, which is just 110km from Hisar, about one and a half hours by road, I have decided not to go home. I don’t want to take a chance because I am in contact with people all day and I don’t want go home and put my family at risk,” he further said.