coronavirus updates: Lockdown violation in big towns, 37000 booked: Uttar Pradesh DGP

NEW DELHI: A day after Uttar Pradesh government ordered sealing of hotspots across 15 districts across the State, Director General of Uttar Pradesh Police, Hitesh C. Awasthy told Economic Times that there was “misinformation about the entire district to be put under curfew” but situation is now “normal.” UP police […]

NEW DELHI: A day after Uttar Pradesh government ordered sealing of hotspots across 15 districts across the State, Director General of Uttar Pradesh Police, Hitesh C. Awasthy told Economic Times that there was “misinformation about the entire district to be put under curfew” but situation is now “normal.” UP police on Wednesday clarified that enhanced sanitation, doorstep supply of essential items and barricading of areas will be limited to hotspots in these districts.

According to UP police, more than 11500 FIRs have been registered in which over 37,000 persons have been named for allegedly violating the prohibitory orders imposed during the 21 day lockdown announced on March 24. “Big towns like Lucknow, Kanpur, Meerut, Agra, and Noida among others have more violators/offenders of lockdown. They are first brought to the police station and explained why we are insisting them not to come out and maintain social distance. They are not criminals. It serves no purpose sending them to jails,” the DGP said.

“However, sometimes they are booked under section 151 of CrPC (Arrest to prevent the commission of cognizable offences). People who are persistent (or repeat offenders) are booked under section 188 IPC (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant),” he added. Under section 151 of CrPC, a person can be detained for 24 hours by police without any orders from magistrate while he can be sent to jail for a term of six months with a fine or both under section 188 of IPC.

Awasthy, a 1986 batch IPS officer, said the State police is taking action against social media posts and have booked several persons for posting provocative and fake news. “Be it Twitter, What’s App or Facebook, we are tracing them and registering cases against provocative posts on social media. It is a persistent exercise. If we come across any false posts, we deny or get it denied by the concerned quarters. The second step is to trace the person and take legal action against those involved. There are numerous occasions where action is being taken regularly against rumours and fake news,” the DGP said.

Police is facing a “very huge challenge” in times of COVID-19 and those in frontline handling calls or COVID-19 positive cases are being provided with personal protection equipments (PPEs) in Uttar Pradesh, according to UP police. “As of now, there is shortage of PPEs, we are very selective but those teams which are doing front line jobs will get PPEs now. We also have policemen who are qualified doctors and are being consulted from time to time,” DGP added.

On the number of distress calls, Awasthy said, “We have been receiving phone calls from across the entire State with citizens requiring food, medicine and other problems. We have huge challenges especially when people have no social cures. The problem now is that no-body can come and sort these issues and everything is left to police and administration. We have been delivering medicines, food packets to old people and others in need. Many people, NGOs have come forward to help the poor and needy. We don’t allow them to distribute to avoid congregation and instead cops are engaged in distribution of food packets in areas where there is persistent demands.”

Source Article

Lois C. Ferrara

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