Bengaluru is under partial lockdown till March 31 as a preventive measure.

COVID-19 Bengaluru cops to book those who violate Janata curfew on Sunday
news Coronavirus Sunday, March 22, 2020 - 07:37

The Bengaluru city police said on Saturday that they would ‘detain and book’ those who ‘violate’ the 14-hour Janata curfew called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Janata curfew is to be observed across the country between 7 am and 9 pm on Sunday as part of efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. As of Saturday, there are 320 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country.

“I have advised my staff to be polite with the people, check reasons for coming out of their homes and advise them to go back. If they don't abide and argue with the police, they will be detained and booked for violating the law,” Bengaluru Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao told news channels on Saturday.

While the Prime Minister had called for a self-imposed curfew by citizens (janata) on Sunday, the city commissioner said ‘every citizen was bound to abide by the advice as it was in the interest of all and to prevent the contagious virus affecting them or spreading to others.’

The Commissioner also urged women not to allow their children to come out of their homes to play or have fun on the streets. Elders also should not be allowed to step outside or even to run small errands, as they are vulnerable to the COVID-19 symptoms, he said.

Speaking to news agency IANS, one police official said, “If citizens move around the city without a specific purpose or on a non-essential service on Sunday, they will be detained and quarantined in the nearest police station till 9 pm and let off later.”

The police official further told the news agency that those who violate the Janata curfew offenders could be booked and detained under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease danger­ous to life), the Karnataka Police Act 30 (Section L) and the Epidemic Act.

Many, however, have questioned the validity of this proposed police action, asking how it would apply to non-infected citizens.

In a nationwide televised address on Thursday night, Prime Minister Modi urged people across the country to stay at home on Sunday from early morning to late night and avoid moving out for commuting or travelling out of the city, social gathering or crowding in public places to be safe and healthy.

Bengaluru has already been under partial lockdown from March 14 to March 31 as a preventive measure to minimise the fallout of the fatal disease sweeping across the world and claiming lives in the thousands.

As all malls, theatres, markets, shops, restaurants, eateries, parks, grounds and tourist spots will remain shut, the police official told IANS that people need not leave their homes for errands or leisure activity.

“Metro rail service will be suspended for the day. The state-run transport corporation will operate limited bus services on select routes to discourage commuting in the city and travelling across the state or neighbouring states,” the official said.

The Ministry of Railways has cancelled several passenger, express and mail trains and decided to operate a few suburban services on need basis.

Auto-rickshaw, taxi and private bus associations have also decided to suspend their services on Sunday to support Modi's call for a one-day people's curfew.

(With IANS input)


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