The number of reported lockdown violations in Calcutta reduced to almost half on Thursday compared to Wednesday as police stepped up vigil on markets and shops that were open for essential supplies.
Between 5pm on Tuesday and 5pm on Wednesday, 871 people were prosecuted. The number dropped to 453 between 5pm on Wednesday and 5pm on Thursday.
“It is a relief that people have understood the implication of the lockdown,” an officer at Lalbazar said. “They have realised no one will be spared if found violating the restrictions without reason.”
The police continued their vigil across the city to ensure people maintained social distancing outside shops.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, there were reports of people thinking it was safe to roam the empty roads. There were also reports of misbehaviour with cops and deliberate violation of rules.
“People were caught lying to roam around. We were left with no option but to prosecute them,” an officer said.
On Thursday, the picture on the roads was “a little different”, he said. “There were fewer violations and that is the only hope.”
Maximum violations were reported from the northern pockets of Calcutta and the minimum from the city police’s east division. The central and south suburban divisions had an almost equal number of violations, police said.
Apart from ensuring that people followed lockdown restrictions, cops helped people in crisis. A vehicle from Tangra police station helped a pregnant woman reach RG Kar hospital from Christopher Road around Wednesday midnight when the vehicle she was in broke down.
A southwest traffic guard officer spotted a child with thalassaemia with his parents looking for a vehicle in the Jinjira Bazar area on Thursday. He arranged for a vehicle to take the child to hospital for his periodical check-up.
People can dial 100 for any help during the lockdown, Calcutta police commissioner Anuj Sharma has said.