Chennai

Police to seize two-wheelers of violators from today

Police chief calls for responsible behaviour to contain COVID-19

City Police Commissioner A.K.Viswanathan has warned that the police will seize bikes of motorists who venture out despite prohibitory orders being in place, with the exception of those who come under the exempted categories.

“On the first day, we appealed to motorists to stay at home. But we will take action from tomorrow,” he said at a press conference on Wednesday on the first day of the lockdown. “Those falling under the exempted categories should carry their office identity cards. Only they will be allowed,” the police chief said.

Reacting to a question on youngsters using the empty roads to race, he warned that this was not a holiday season. “All of us should behave responsibly to prevent the spread of the disease. People at home should advise the youngsters and ensure that they follow the rules. If they don’t, strict action will be taken,” he said. The police registered three cases against people who violated prohibitory orders. While one case was in Seven Wells Police Station limits, two were registered and five youngsters arrested and released on bail in Choolaimedu police station limits.

Regarding quarantined people who step out of their homes, he said that they had been booked under Sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), 270 (Malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), 271 (disobedience to quarantine rule), Section 3 of the Epidemic Diseases Act and Section 51(b) of the Disaster Management Act. He said that people can also alert the police if they find that their neighbour has symptoms and is hesitant to reveal it. Their identity will not be revealed.

“A total of 30 teams comprising police, health and Corporation officials have been formed to track the quarantined persons,” he said. He said that protective gear has been procured and will be provided to police stations when a need arises.

Few vehicles on the road

On the first day of the lockdown, a majority of the people stayed indoors but a few cars and bikes were still on the road. At a few places, policemen were seen appealing to the motorists not to venture out. On Anna Salai and Radha Krishnan Salai, policemen were seen with folded hands asking people not to come out. One motorist even fell at the feet of a police inspector on Anna Salai. However, in many places motorists complained that the checking was not done properly. “There were barricades, but policemen were not checking. If people are allowed to roam outside the purpose of the lockdown will not be fulfilled,” said Rehna, a resident of Poonamallee High Road. A senior police officer clarified that there were 10 check points on the city’s border. “Apart from essential services, other vehicles are not allowed to enter or leave the city. In the city, barricades are placed every 500 m, but checking is done every 1.5 km,” said the officer.

Despite workers of essential departments like electricity, Secretariat, civic body and transport being allowed to function during the lockdown, several Tangedco workers complained about police harassment.

A senior official of Tangedco said though the City Police Commissioner A.K. Viswanathan had instructed police officials to allow electricity staff to pass after showing their cards, a few policemen were harassing the operations and maintenance staff.

An electricity staff working in Mogappair was coming for night shift and was stopped near a police checkpost at Madhavaram and asked to go back even after he showed his identity card, the official rued.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 12:44:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/police-to-seize-two-wheelers-of-violators-from-today/article31168005.ece

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