The seven arrests were among 1,780 people who were taken into custody on Thursday and Friday for flouting the lockdown, the highest thus far since the lockdown came into force on March 25. The total number of people arrested so far is 5,916. Some 148 vehicles have been seized during this period.
Responsible behaviour is a must to contain this disease. There are exceptions that are laid down and everyone, including enforcers of the law, must follow them inletter and spirit.
Friday’s crackdown came hours after police commissioner Anuj Sharma asked cops to be strict on the roads and check every vehicle irrespective of the boards they might flaunt, following directives from both Nabanna and the ministry of home affairs at the Centre.
The ambulance that was intercepted was ferrying the group from Kakdwip to Bongaon. “When the sergeant asked about the patient, the driver was at a loss. The passengers in the vehicle said they had paid the driver Rs 4,500 to take them to Bongaon. They were all arrested. The Patuli police also nabbed three others who had tried to enter the city saying they were carrying relief material,” said police.
An officer at Lalbazar said certain checkpoints had been identified, especially those along the city’s edge, and they would be manned 24 hours. “It will be a joint effort by both traffic police and the local divisional cops. If someone who has no business moving around does so, traffic cops will help slap additional charges under the Motor Vehicles Act,” explained an officer at Lalbazar.
Lalbazar said it has also decided to change tactics to ensure that people pay heed to their warnings. Vehicles used to commute illegally will be seized and all those arrested will face additional charges, thereby ensuring that repeat offenders don’t secure bail from the police station so easily. “We want those arrested to regret breaking the lockdown,” said a senior IPS officer at Lalbazar.
Cops in Kalighat and Bhowanipore targeted small gathering at crossings. Sometimes, the patrol van made multiple rounds of a locality to ensure that the message can be sent across and people didn’t venture out. Commissioner Anuj Sharma, who has taken rounds of the city in the past two days, asked his men to specifically check locals from assembling.
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