“We have realized that Kolkata’s favourite pastime — adda — is still a major headache. Every morning and evening, people return to parks, tea stalls and even milk booths to hang out. We have thus had to shut parks across the city, including the smaller ones in areas like Patuli, Tallah and Muchipara. On Thursday and Friday, we acted against 391 people for gathering in public spots,” said an officer. Cops said they will continue such drives on non-lockdown days.
According to police sources, Wednesday — a full lockdown day — was a case in point. A total of 274 people were prosecuted till noon for violating rules. On Thursday and Friday, cops acted against 214 and 177 people respectively. Around 514 people were prosecuted for not wearing masks properly. In the past 48 hours, 44 have been prosecuted for spitting on the road while cops prosecuted 24 drivers for carrying more passengers than allowed.
On Friday, Lalbazar took note of all reports of people gathering in bylanes in certain pockets. The top officers have now hinted that drones are likely to be deployed in some of these pockets, especially in central Kolkata. Vehicles will checked and drivers’ names and phone numbers taken down if they are found breaking norms. In some cases, cops even will click photographs of the vehicle. “If the driver repeats his mistake, we will have our records ready,” said an officer.
On total lockdown days, only emergency services are to operate. “We have been asked to ensure there are no gatherings and all attempts at going for unnecessary drives or walks — especially near micro-containment zones — must be nipped in the bud,” said a divisional DC.
The plan, claimed Lalbazar officers, was to dominate the roads from 5am, just like on other days, and start checking cars from 6am.