Coronavirus | Police mobilise entire force to enforce lockdown in Kochi district

In Kadavanthra, policemen are checking people to prevent unnecessary travel in Kochi city during the State-wide lockdown due to COVID-19, March 24, 2020

In Kadavanthra, policemen are checking people to prevent unnecessary travel in Kochi city during the State-wide lockdown due to COVID-19, March 24, 2020   | Photo Credit: H. Vibhu

Over 7,500 personnel on the field

Over 7,500 police personnel are patrolling the streets and roads in the district as the week-long State-wide lock down declared by the State government to check the spread of COVID-19 came into force.

District Collector S. Suhas had declared CrPC Section 144 on Monday late night to facilitate the lockdown and to avoid public assemblies and Kochi wore a deserted look from the morning.

“About 5,000 of our officers have been patrolling the streets since 6 a.m. this morning. The lockdown is all pervasive and exemption has been granted to essential services like food and food processing industries, health, telecom etc. What we want is a 100% compliance with the lockdown since it needs just one person to undo all the efforts to control the spread of the virus,” said District Police Chief (Kochi City) Vijay Sakhare.

Transportation of all sorts are staying off the roads and the police have intensified vehicle checking stopping anyone found outside on their tracks and inquiring the purpose for which they have ventured out. The direction is unambiguous, no one is supposed to be outside unless to access essential services like food or medicines, Mr. Sakhare said.

“Those found loitering around will be slapped with a slew of charges under various Acts including Sections 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant, 269 (unlawfully or negligently does any act which is, and which he knows or has reason to believe to be, likely to spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life) and other provisions of the Kerala Police Act and the Epidemic Diseases Act.

Also read: Passenger arrested for noncooperation with health officials at Kochi airport

“It is for the individual to decide whether to stay at home or in our custody,” he said. Mr. Sakhare said that once things are made clear in the first day people will hopefully will follow them in the remaining days of the lockdown.

The Ernakulam rural police have deployed over 2500 personnel on the streets to enforce the lock down.

“We have put in place tight bandobast. Public announcements are being made about the lock down asking people to stay indoors and also about the precautions to be taken against the disease. Since this is a long drawn out process, we have drawn up a rotation system to ensure that enough police personnel are out on the streets round-the-clock,” said District Police Chief (Ernakulam Rural) K. Karthik who had already visited Perumbavur and Muvattupuzha.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 7:00:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/coronavirus-police-mobilise-entire-force-to-enforce-lockdown-in-kochi-district/article31151311.ece

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