It’s cat-and-mouse game between police, lockdown violators

Curfew time: Police personnel checking a person at Kadavanthra in Kochi.

Curfew time: Police personnel checking a person at Kadavanthra in Kochi.   | Photo Credit: H_Vibhu

Many found ‘inventing lies’ to overcome travel restrictions

On Wednesday afternoon, the Maradu police waved down a youngster on a new generation motorcycle at an otherwise deserted Vyttila Junction.

A resident of Champakkara, he was found to be carrying an affidavit claiming that he was on his way to buy vegetables, though he had already covered at least three vegetable shops along the way.

Cops, unsurprisingly, were not amused and asked him, rather sarcastically, why he did not take the highway all the way to Ooty to buy fresh vegetables. “Not only we slapped him with charges under IPC Section 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) for violating Section 144 but also seized his fancy motorcycle, leaving him to walk a few kilometres back home,” said C. Vinod, Inspector, Maradu.

As the lockdown entered the second day, a cat and mouse game is being played out on city roads between cops enforcing lockdown and people hell-bent on violating it by inventing lies to overcome travel restrictions. The police are forced to rely on their intuitions to call the bluff of people trying to play smart.

In another incident, a man who was stopped on his tracks near Kannamaly claimed that he was out to buy medicines for his sick mother. So, the police rang up his mother who was found to be perfectly fine but even admitted that her son had stepped out on some pretext. Another man claimed that he was out to bring back his father, a security guard, home as he was trapped at his workplace without food. But he dumped that story the moment the police were about to verify it.

“In an otherwise exhausting work, these attempted lies may sound a pastime. Only, it is not funny considering the seriousness of the situation,” said K.L. Sajimon, Inspector, Kannamaly.

The North police were left to deal with a rather ‘uniform’ lie. “Everyone we stopped was on their way to Lissie Hospital. If all of them were to actually go there, the place would have been packed,” said V.B. Anas, Sub Inspector, North.

A man who was stopped at Bolghatty Junction by the Mulavukad police was out to buy groceries, according to his affidavit. “As if there was not a single grocery shop in his neighbourhood that he had to travel more than 10 km. Groceries, medicines, treatment, and ‘deaths’ of relatives are among the easily abused reasons,” said K.P. Manesh, Sub Inspector, Mulavukad.

Then, there were the honest who remain truthful despite committing the offence like a man who was stopped by the Palluruthy police after he was found travelling with his entire family. “He said he was out to visit a few relatives. There was another man who was out looking for a few beers without knowing that the government had shut bewerages outlets,” said Y. Deepu, Sub Inspector, Palluruthy.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 11:25:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/its-cat-and-mouse-game-between-police-lockdown-violators/article31168152.ece

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