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Covid-19 lockdown: Cops act tough against violators in Odisha

Press Trust of India  |  Bhubaneswar 

Police in Odisha are

rounding up people and even shaming some of them for violating the lockdown order imposed by the central government to contain the spread of Covid-19.

According to a senior police officer, several people in the cities were stocking up on groceries, despite assurances that there would be no dearth of essential items during the lockdown.

Many of them were also seen shoving each other to buy vegetables and dairy products, prompting police to intervene, he said.

As many as 1,200 police personnel are patrolling the streets of Bhubaneswar to ensure that people do not venture out unnecessarily.

Those found loitering around are being made to do sit-ups, the senior officer said.

In Kandhamal district, two youths, who were nabbed for roaming the streets, were made to hold placards that had 'selfish' and 'irresponsible' written on them.

At least eleven people have been arrested in Phulbani area of the district for opening shops to sell non-essential items, another officer said.

In Sambalpur, four persons were booked under section 188 of the IPC (disobedience to order) and also the Motor Vehicles Act.

In Cuttack and Balasore, too, similar measures have been taken to stop residents from coming out on the streets.

A district official in Puri said all places of tourist interest, including Shree Jagannath Temple, have been barricaded to dissuade people from visiting those sites.

At least, twenty teams of police officers are patrolling the seaside town and generating awareness on the disease, he said.

"Barring some, most people are adhering to the rules. We have so far seized 30 vehicles. Some grocery shops that were seen flouting the social distancing norms have also been warned," Puri Superintendent of Police U S Dash said.

A hotel has been sealed in the district as its owner did not inform police that it was still hosting three foreigners, he said.

Three other hotels in Puri have offered their properties for setting up quarantine camps, the SP said.

A notification issued by the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) said arrangements have been made for paid quarantine in six hotels of the state capital.

"Most government buildings have already been designated as quarantine centres, but it appears that pay- and-use facility is also necessary at this hour of crisis, it added.

Odisha has so far reported two Covid-19 cases.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, March 25 2020. 15:58 IST