Shops forced to close on first day of lockdown

Police closing down shops that were open in Bengaluru on Monday.

Police closing down shops that were open in Bengaluru on Monday.   | Photo Credit: K. MURALI KUMAR

Around 10.30 a.m., several people were found standing on the pavement of the usually bustling 8th Cross in Malleswaram.

Most of them were employees of various apparel, hosiery and jewellery shops that dot the area. It was just a few minutes after the local police came around asking all the shops to down their shutters. Across the city, similar scenes played out as the police were seen asking many shops that had opened on Monday to close. As per government direction, only provision/ grocery shops, medical shops and pharmacies, milk booths can function.

Early in the day, many shops and commercial establishments had opened defying the government directions. Lokesh Gowda, who has an automobile spare parts shop in Kempegowda Nagar in Dasarahalli, said he came back from his village in Tumakuru early on Monday and opened his shop.

“Several other shops in the area were also open. The police came around 11 a.m. and forced us to down the shutters,” he said.

Employees of several commercial establishments in the busy Gandhinagar, B.V.K. Iyengar Road and surrounding areas were also found standing near the closed shops, wondering what to do next. “After the Janata Curfew, we assumed that it will be a normal working day and reported for work. With the police and Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) officials closing down all shops, we may just have to go back home,” said one of them.

However, in many areas, bakeries that sell tea and cigarettes were found open. On Ring Road, near Jalahalli, a bakery with two shutters, had closed one shutter facing the main road, while the other one towards an inner lane was open. People were seen gathering around, drinking tea and smoking.

Meanwhile, Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) buses were plying. Many buses were packed, what with BMTC operating only 50% of its fleet. At the BMTC bus station in Majestic, the passengers had a verbal duel with the corporation officials for not operating more buses.

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 12:03:07 PM |

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