Police resort to lathicharge customers to prevent crowding

People lining up in front of a HOPCOMS outlet and a milk booth at Mannagudda, in Mangaluru, on Sunday.  

With the Dakshina Kannada district administration ordering closure of all vegetable and fruit shops except HOPCOMS outlets during the weekend curfew, the police resorted to lathicharge customers at a few HOPCOMS outlets in the city to prevent crowding.

A gentleman who escaped from falling victim to lathicharge by a whisker said that he was at the Urva Store outlet to buy fruits for his co-brother’s family whose members had tested positive to COVID-19. “I was not there for fun,” he said and added that with just a three-hour window to purchase essentials and with all other shops ordered to be closed, crowding naturally would happen at HOPCOMS, he said.

Added to his woes, the HOPCOMS outlet charged him ₹1,400 for a kg each of Sapota, pomegranate, butter fruit and a water melon and did not issue a bill. “I had no time to argue with the outlet operator with lathi-wielding policemen around,” he said. It was nothing but daylight robbery by a government-supported cooperative society, the gentleman, who did not wish to be identified, said.

The district administration on Thursday decided to reduce the window for purchasing essentials by an hour to 9 a.m. It also decided to impose a complete lockdown during the weekend allowing only HOPCOMS outlets, milk booths and healthcare facilities, including pharmacies, to remain open. The weekend lockdown thus commenced at 9 a.m. on Friday to end at 6 a.m. on Monday.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, city roads became completely deserted even before 9 a.m. as HOPCOMS outlets and milk booths were ordered to be closed by the police personnel. Since it was Sunday, many people working for essential services that were allowed to function too were not seen travelling in their private vehicles.

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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 6:52:37 PM |

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