Hyderabad cops stop delivery boys, vehicles carrying medicines despite assurances

The Telangana State Hotels Association, an association of hotels, restaurants, bars, sweet shops, cafes, and dhabas, on Monday wrote to minister K.T Rama Rao stating that their restaurant staffs are being intimidated in Kukatpally and in some cases detained.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  24 May 2021 2:46 PM GMT
Hyderabad cops stop delivery boys, vehicles carrying medicines despite assurances

Hyderabad: Despite assurance from the Telangana government and the police department, the Telangana police on 24 May stopped many food delivery executives, social service organizations with valid passes, and even journalists in isolated incidents.

"On Sunday, the police allowed us to deliver around the city. But today (Monday) they stopped me and other food delivery executives at Banjara Hills Mailardevpally check-post and asked us to go back home. I showed them my ID card but they did not listen to me. I really didn't want to get hit by them so I returned home," said Mohammed Yousuf, a food delivery executive from Chandrayangutta.

Similarly, a van carrying medicines to the tribal areas of Mulugu and Gopalpally was stopped by the police at Ameerpet. "We have to commute in the three commissionerate areas. Our car was full of medicines, body bags, and sanitizers - all COVID-related items. We also had permission from the Mulugu district collector and yet we were stopped and asked why I didn't have an online challan," said Sai Teja, an activist.

He added that the police misbehaved with them. After making many calls they were able to deliver the medicines. "I knew some people and could manage to get myself out of the situation. What about the common people? How they will be treated? This is happening mostly in the Hyderabad area," said Sai Teja.

Meanwhile, in an isolated incident, a photojournalist working for an English Daily was stopped by the police from taking photographs.

Also, many Swiggy and Zomato delivery executives complained that the police asked them to pay their earlier fines. "If they were unable to pay the fine today, their bikes were being seized," said Shaik Salauddin, Founder State President, Telangana Gig and Platform Workers Union.

Hotels, restaurants write to KTR

The Telangana State Hotels Association, an association of hotels, restaurants, bars, sweet shops, cafes, and dhabas, on Monday wrote to minister K.T Rama Rao stating that their restaurant staffs are being intimidated in Kukatpally and in some cases detained. "This is in contradiction to public statements made by officials at all levels and also in violation of the GO under implementation," said S. Venkat Reddy, the president of the association.

On Monday, DGP Mahendra Reddy said that the police are permitting the movements of essential service workers, emergency services, doctors and other paramedical staff, and online food delivery services.

Earlier on Saturday, even after food delivery services being exempted under the current lockdown guidelines, the Hyderabad police beat up several delivery executives for food delivery apps like Swiggy and Zomato. Their vehicles were seized and they were forced to walk for miles to reach their homes. A fine of Rs. 1,000 was imposed against each delivery staffer.

Besides e-commerce services, many COVID-19 volunteers were also stopped by the police. A few who were on their way to donate blood or deliver medicines and food to patients undergoing COVID treatment were also stopped.

On Sunday, the DGP had issued instructions asking the cops to "tone down" the action against delivery executives. He had also prevented police officers from stopping or checking delivery executives of Zomato, Swiggy, Big Basket, Flipkart, and Amazon. The DGP, in an internal communication had advised "toned down and balanced enforcement" while identifying persons travelling without valid pass, ID cards, or supporting documents.

Refund of lockdown violation fine

The food delivery companies on Monday said they are refunding all the fines imposed for lockdown violations against their staff on Saturday. "To ensure delivery partners don't suffer because of unforeseen incidents we are refunding it," said Swigggy.

The gig union has demanded that every gig platform should do this for their executives. "We are welcoming the move by the Swiggy but we are demanding this from all the platforms whose executives were fined on Saturday," said Shaik Salauddin.

He also demanded that gig workers be tested every other day. "They should be vaccinated and if they test positive, they should be paid," said Shaik Salauddin.

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