Coronavirus update: Police up vigilance, say fewer trying to enter, leave Delhi
Coronavirus update: Till 5pm Wednesday, a total of 5,286 people were booked for violating lockdown orders while 956 vehicles were impounded after they were found being driven “unnecessarily” in Delhi.Updated: Mar 26, 2020 04:41 IST
New Delhi: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared a “complete lockdown” in the country for 21 days to prevent the spread of the coronavirus infection, Delhi Police fanned out across the city on Wednesday in an attempt to keep people indoors. However, residents of various areas and delivery agents with app-based services, listed as exempt from the lockdown, said they were harried for trying to go about their work.
Till 5pm Wednesday, a total of 5,286 people were booked for violating lockdown orders while 956 vehicles were impounded after they were found being driven “unnecessarily” in the city. The number of people booked Wednesday was a little less than Tuesday when 5,445 people faced action for defying orders.
According to Delhi Police spokesperson Anil Mittal, at least 183 persons were booked under Section 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code while 5,103 were detained under Section 65 (Persons bound to comply with the reasonable directions of a police officer) of the Delhi Police Act for violating lockdown orders.
At least 6,141 curfew passes were issued on Wednesday by the police to those involved in essential services to move around the city and cross state borders.
The police said the number of vehicles seeking entry into or exiting Delhi was less than in the last three days.
The Ghazipur and Maharajpur borders, used to enter the national Capital by people living in Ghaziabad, Indirapuram, Vasundhara, Vaishali and other nearby areas, saw minimal flow of traffic throughout Wednesday. A senior police officer said most of the vehicles were being driven by people working with essential services.
A police officer deployed at the Ghazipur border said while most of the motorists were medical staff, security personnel or those who were related to essential services, there were some who were out for silly reasons such as picking up or dropping their relatives, buying specific medicines, or merely to observe the lockdown situation on roads.
“We did not allow such people to enter the city, despite many of them trying to convince us about their urgency. If we start listing to such excuses, the efforts to keep people indoors to prevent the spread of coronavirus will go in vain,” said the officer who did not want to be named.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Police on Wednesday night released a list of those essential services which necessitate movement under the lockdown period and whose personnel would be allowed on city roads and to cross the borders. These include: police personnel in uniform, government staff related to essential services, fire brigades, water department, municipal corporations, print and electronic media, kirana shops, including kendriya bhandars, home delivery, take away, fuel station staff, animal feed and fodder supplies, ferrying sick persons to/from hospitals, staff of children’s homes and elderly homes, and the like.
At many barricade pickets in the city, police personnel were seen asking people to show “curfew passes” if they were not among those exempted on the basis of the profession-related ID cards. Some people had pasted notices on their motorcycles and windscreens of their cars to avoid being stopped at check posts.
“Those who did not have passes had pasted notices on their vehicles that they were essential service providers. We did not stop them but asked them to get their passes soon,” said a policeman deployed at Shanti Van barricade near Kotwali.
Apart from enforcing lockdown orders, police personnel were also seen regulating people who were gathering at shops to buy essential food items and medicines. They were seen asking people to maintain a distance of at least one meter in the queue. At many shops, circles were made with white powder on the ground at a distance and shoppers were asked to stand in them.