Chennai's new Commissioner of Police Mahesh Kumar Aggarwal took charge on Thursday. Addressing the press from the Commissioner's office in Vepery, he stated that controlling the spread of COVID-19 is amongst the top priorities for the Chennai police.
Mahesh Kumar Aggarwal, replaces AK Viswanathan, an IPS officer from the 1990 batch who took over as Chennai Commissioner in 2017. Mahesh Kumar is a distinguished officer who has received the police medal for meritorious service and Chief Minister's medal for outstanding devotion to duty. He has also been awarded the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister's police medal for excellence in public service.
Before being appointed Chennai Commissioner, he held the post of nodal officer in Chennai's north zone to assist the city Corporation's efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus.
"We will follow the Tamil Nadu government's advice and ensure that physical distancing is maintained and that face masks are used to fight coronavirus. We also advice people to not leave their houses except for essential activities," he told the media. "And since people can't come in person to express their grievances in police stations and offices, I am arranging for this to be done via video-conferencing," he added.
When asked about the increasing number of policemen who were being infected, the Commissioner said that all efforts are underway to safeguard officials.
"To prevent the spread of coronavirus we need to not go out unnecessarily. But police duty is such that we have to come out," said the Commissioner. "So, police have to do their duty but also take precautions. They have to wear masks, maintain physical distancing and use sanitisers to prevent infection. Senior officers have given such advisories. We have to make sure it is being followed," he added.
Mahesh Kumar's posting comes as part of a major rejig of IPS officers in the state. On Tuesday, the AIADMK government transferred several police officers including the Madurai and Tirupur Commissioners. In Chennai, R Dhinakaran who was Additional Commissioner of Police of Law and Order, North, was transferred to Law and Order south.
Sunil Kumar IPS has been posted as DGP of the state human rights commissions while Trichy Commissioner Amalraj has been posted as Additional Commissioner of Police, Chennai.