Over 7,500 policemen patrol roads on first day of lockdown in Ernakulam

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

District Collector S. Suhas had clamped CrPC Section 144 on Monday late night to facilitate the lock down and to avoid public assemblies.

“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 only essential services like food and food processing industries, health, telecom, etc. What we want is a 100% compliance with the lockdown since it needs only one person to undo all the efforts to control the spread of the virus,” said District Police Chief (Kochi City) Vijay Sakhare.

Vehicles of all sorts are staying off the roads and the police have intensified vehicle checking stopping anyone found outside 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. It is for the individual to decide whether to stay at home or in our custody,” he said. Mr. Sakhare said that once things were made clear on the first day, people would hopefully will follow norms in the remaining days of the lockdown.

The Ernakulam Rural police have deployed over 2,500 personnel on the streets to enforce the lockdown. “We have put in place tight bandobast. Public announcements are being made about the lockdown asking people to stay indoors and also about the precautions to be taken against the disease. Since this is a long 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.

He conducted an examination along the national highway and held a route march. Passes and id cards of people were examined by the police and those found loitering needlessly were send back home after slapping them with charges.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 8:02:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/over-7500-policemen-patrol-roads-on-first-day-of-lockdown-in-ernakulam/article31155109.ece

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