Covid lockdown brings life to halt in Haryana

Published on May 03, 2021 04:34 PM IST

State health minister Anil Vij says didn’t want to impose a lockdown but had no choice amid rising coronavirus cases

People waiting outside grocery shops at a market in Sector 2, Rohtak, on Monday morning. The area wore a deserted look after 11am when the police got cracking. (Manoj Dhaka/HT)
People waiting outside grocery shops at a market in Sector 2, Rohtak, on Monday morning. The area wore a deserted look after 11am when the police got cracking. (Manoj Dhaka/HT)
BySunil Rahar

On Day 1 of the week-long lockdown across Haryana to contain the spread of Covid-19, police struggled to keep people indoors in Rohtak, Hisar and Jhajjar districts even as state home minister Anil Vij appealed to residents to adhere to the curbs.

“I never wanted to impose a lockdown, but people are not following Covid-appropriate behaviour,” Vij, who also holds the health portfolio, said. When asked about his earlier assurances of not imposing a shutdown in the state, he said that there was no alternative left after the active cases crossed 1 lakh with nearly 15,000 new cases being reported daily.

Though there were fewer vehicles on roads as prohibitory orders were imposed, police personnel were seen taking rounds of various sectors in Rohtak and asking shopkeepers except chemists to close down shops

Movement in case for health emergency, vaccination and buying essentials was allowed. Shopping malls and gyms remained closed home delivery of food items from hotels and restaurants was allowed.

Police get cracking at 11am

In the morning, people were seen waiting around vegetable and fruit stalls near Jat Bhawan in Rohtak, flouting social distancing norms. But after 11am, the police got cracking and the streets wore a deserted look.

Sheela Devi, a shopkeeper, said: “We have adequate supply of daily needs, but the police asked me to close the shop at 11am, otherwise they would be forced to issue a challan. Though fewer customers came today, most of them were done with their purchases by 9.30am. It’s important to save lives first, business and profit can follow,” she said.

Raju, a retail fruit seller, said: “We are buying limited fruits because of fewer customers. My income has fallen over the past few days. The police want us to go back home at 11am.”

(With inputs by Bhavey Nagpal in Ambala)

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