As announced by Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Saturday, both Bengaluru Urban and Rural districts have been put under another phase of stringent lockdown for a week to curb the exponential number of COVID-19 cases.
The lockdown orders, which came into effect at 8 pm on Tuesday, will remain till 5 am on July 22. Ahead of the lockdown, City Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao had warned of strict action against violators, and said that the police will also seize vehicles if the users are found to be heading out without a valid reason. Unlike the previous phases of lockdown, he did not allow issuing of curfew passes.
TNM caught up with the cityâ€™s police boss for an interview over his thoughts on the first two days of this phase of lockdown. Read the edited excerpt of the same bellow.
How have the city residents responded to the lockdown? Are you being lenient?
People of the city are responding very responsibly. There is no question of leniency. The fear of corona has got to the people and they have made our job of enforcing the lockdown pretty easy.
How have citizen volunteers responded to your call?
Citizen volunteers have responded very well, in fact the response has been beyond our expectation and our servers had actually crashed, More than 15,000 people have applied to volunteer with us and about 3,000-4,000 people have already started work.
Inviting physically fit n service minded residents of Bengaluru, both men and women, between the age of 18 to 45 to Volunteer as Civil Police Warden to help the local police in regulation and enforcement of anti-Covid measures. To register log on to https://t.co/sPMdHigqYnâ€” Bhaskar Rao IPS (@deepolice12) July 14, 2020
How is the police force taking precautions given there are multiple cases of infections?
I have already lost eight people from the force and almost 700 persons are infected, and another 800 police personnel are in quarantine. Another 1200 persons with comorbidities are working from home as a precautionary measure. This is why we needed to take the help of volunteers.
Like the first phase of lockdown, are you also seizing vehicles in bulk?
It is only Day 2 of this phase of lockdown so we cannot say if we are faced with a similar situation. But we are stringent about this. On the first day, we had seized around 200 vehicles including two wheelers.
Are people being arrested for violating the lockdown?
What will we do by arresting people? They are not murderers or anything and it will only increase contact and result in more and more cases. We will book cases against violators.