It is commonplace in India that even policemen are dragged in court charged with various crimes ranging from murder to even theft. But the eight policemen booked on Monday, the 5th August, have made history.
Yes, these eight Station House Officers of Delhi have not been charged with any crime but for allowing the mosquitoes to breed merrily at their police stations. If convicted they could be fined from Rs.500/- to Rs.2000/- and may even be awarded (!) a short jail term.
The story is that the Delhi Municipal Corporation’s (MCD) health department lunched an anti-dengue drive last month and these officers ignored ‘repeated notices’ to keep their police stations clean and free of stagnant water. As a result they are now facing trial.
The MCD has found mosquito breeding grounds in police stations, hospitals, and government offices and even in their own offices. So far, 1766 court notices have been served on errant officials.
Civic health officials say that the monsoon with its wet and humid weather is ideal for mosquito breeding and therefore for spread of dengue. They say their drive against the disease has born fruits over the years. In 1996, there were 10000cases of dengue, which came down to 3366 cases (with 65 deaths) in 2006 and then to 548 cases with just one death in 2007. Only 8 cases have been reported this year so far.