Covid-19 shutdown: 523 FIRs, 856 arrests since Mar 20Updated: Mar 31, 2020 22:15 IST
Despite repeated police action, citizens continued to flout rules during the lockdown on Tuesday. The Mumbai Police have lodged 523 FIRs since March 20 till Monday night against 1,017 people, arrested 856 of them and granted them bail. Meanwhile, 8,000 FIRs have been registered across Maharashtra against people for gathering at one place or using vehicles to commute without any specific reason.
Milind Bharambe, special inspector general, law and order, Maharashtra, said, “Till Tuesday 8,000 FIRs have been registered.” Dr Balsing Rajput, state cyber superintendent of police, said, “A total of 51 FIRs have been registered for spreading rumours/fake news/misinformation related to Covid-19 on platforms such as WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook.”
In Mumbai, maximum violations were reported from the north and east region, with 306 of the 523 FIRs in these two zones. Lakhmi Gautam, additional commissioner of police, east region, said, “Of the five exit points of the city, four are under the jurisdiction of the east region – Vashi, LBS Marg in Mulund, Airoli and eastern express highway in Mulund. We have been taking cases against those drivers and vehicle owners who are trying to ferry people out of the city.” A similar reason was attributed to the north region which has the city’s only exit point towards Vasai, Virar and Gujarat.
The Mumbai Police have been monitoring containment zones (places with positive cases of Covid-19) around-the-clock, restricting unnecessary movement of people.
Divakar Shelke, senior police inspector, Dadar police station, whose team is manning Worli Koliwada containment zone, said, “Only medical shops in the vicinity are open for emergency. Barricades have been put on entry and exit points. There is heavy police presence in the zone and we are regularly making announcements using megaphones asking people to stay home.”
Pranaya Ashok, DCP, operations and Mumbai Police spokesperson, said,” We are getting complaints on Twitter about people not following the lockdown.”
Meanwhile, the Shivaji Nagar police on Monday booked two persons for stepping out for a joyride during the lockdown, as their video went viral. According to the police, the duo, Sarfaraz Ali, 20, and pillion rider Mohamedali Shaikh, 22, recorded the video of them riding at Tilak Nagar flyover at more than 100km/hour around 11.30am on Saturday. “The case has been transferred to Tilak Nagar police station,” said a police officer.
Seventeen people in Badlapur, Ambernath and Ulhasnagar were booked for violating the lockdown. Two tempo drivers were ferrying 22 people to Uttar Pradesh. “We arrested the two, Rambhau Tekade, 42, and Girdharilal Yadav, 39, for illegally transporting 22 people to Uttar Pradesh,” said a police officer from Hill Line police station, Ambernath. The Badlapur police have filed a case against 12 people for violating lockdown and roaming around on their two-wheeler.
Three Ambernath residents and one Ulhasnagar resident have been booked for spreading false news about a lathicharge. “We want people to know that stringent action will be taken against violators,” said a police officer from Badlapur police station. Deputy commissioner of police, Bhiwandi, Rajkumar Shinde has asked the police to cane violators, make them do 30 sit-ups and also seize their vehicles. In the past one week, around 1,000 bikers have been caught. “We allow them to go after punishing but if they are caught again, we file a case and seize their vehicle,” said Shinde.
The Navi Mumbai police booked 80 people on Tuesday.
Mumbai police Commissioner Param Bir Singh on Tuesday afternoon answered host of questions in an hour-long Twitter interaction, in which he maintained that essential services will not be affected. “All vehicles have to be refuelled. There are no such orders stating only essential commodities vehicles to be refuelled,” he said, while answering a question on fuel attendants refusing fuel.
Singh suggested a pet owner to avoid taking the pet out. During the interaction, a manager of a bank complained that his society has asked him to vacate owing to his job. To which, Singh replied, “Banking is an essential service. No one can force you to vacate. Please approach the local police station.”