Kerala

People throng markets in city

People buying vegetables for the Vishu festival at Chala market in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday.

People buying vegetables for the Vishu festival at Chala market in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday.

In open violation of the lockdown guidelines, people crowded market places and supermarkets in various parts of the district on Monday to prepare for the Vishu festivities.

In what is feared as a sign of things to come with lockdown restrictions likely to be relaxed in the days to come, shoppers thronged business centres with scant regard for the need to maintain social distancing and wear masks, even as a handful of police officers were unable to control the crowds during the initial hours.

On deaf ears

The city witnessed an increased vehicular flow with many heading for the market centres in Chala, Palayam and Peroorkada. While the government and the police had earlier advised the public against flooding such areas and to ensure discipline, they evidently fell on deaf ears as the public jostled each other with many leaving their masks in their vehicles. Long queues were also seen outside some banks as many turned up to collect their welfare pensions.

Alarmed by the unfolding scenes, District Police Chief (Thiruvananthapuram city) Balram Kumar Upadhyay toured parts of the city including Peroorkada and ordered the closure of many shops that failed to adhere to the lockdown guidelines.

The City police registered cases against 128 people, of which 110 were booked under provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Ordinance 2020. They also seized 92 vehicles. The Thiruvananthapuram Rural police registered 293 cases and arrested 302 people and confiscated 184 vehicles.

Meanwhile, the police have began to return vehicles that were seized since the launch of the lockdown. With many police stations having taken into custody over 200 vehicles each with a majority being two-wheelers, the paucity of space on their premises prompted the authorities to return them to their owners conditionally. The police collected affidavits from the vehicle owners and warned them against repeating the offence that could lead to the cancellation of their vehicle registrations.


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Printable version | Jun 28, 2022 10:37:02 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/people-throng-markets-in-city/article31334367.ece