KOLKATA: Hours after two people were caught using duplicate e-passes that are originally issued by Kolkata Police, Lalbazar has instructed its men at checkpoints to closely look into every suspect vehicle. On Saturday itself, 25 traffic guards ended up checking 2,600 vehicles in the first four hours in the morning. A large section of them involved ambulances and those claiming to be on emergency duty like electricity and hospitals.
“We have set certain rules to enforce this shutdowm. One of them is to ensure only the most necessary cars ply on the road. We have set 20 seconds to complete checking of an ambulance and 30 seconds to complete checking of a medical staffer’s car,” said an officer from the Bhowanipore traffic guard. Till 12 noon on Saturday, the cops had seized 47 vehicles, taking the total count to 221.
Seventy-nine faced challans for not wearing helmets and 44 for carrying more than two persons on a two-wheeler. The maximum offenders were from Shyambazar-Cossipore and Jorabagan-Kumoortulli in the north and Ripon Street-Mullickbazar and Regent Park in south Kolkata. On Friday, the cops checked 8,752 vehicles and seized 174.
“We found several types of violations. But most importantly people are realizing that there is a reason why they must fall in line now,” said joint CP (traffic) Santosh Pandey. “There are two types of violations. The first type includes typical two-wheeler users out on joyrides with flimsiest of excuses. The second type includes ambulance and commercial vehicle drivers violating the rules by claiming that they are on emergency duty,” said another IPS officer.
Police commissioner Anuj sharma again took to Twitter to remind citizens to follow the lockdown rigorously after missives from both Union home department and Nabanna. “StayHomeStaySafe. Today @KolkataPolice @KPTrafficDept initiated 246 FIRs against #lockdown violators and arrested 800 persons and seized 148 vehicles. I once again humbly appeal not come out without emergent reasons. We shall continue our drive against violators,” he wrote. Police have so far arrested around 6,000 people for breaking lockdown provisions.
Both Kolkata Police and Bengal Police have yet again warned citizens against sharing fake news. While Kolkata Police has begun questioning WhatsApp group administrators and those who forwarded fake messages, questioning over 120 persons in the process, Bengal police recently announced it has arrested 30 persons and warned 98 others to refrain from posting fake news.
But, despite appeals by cops and administration, people were seen outside their homes for absolutely no reason in some areas.
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