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Lockdown comes into force in entire Haryana, at some places police have tough time persuading people

Press Trust of India  |  Chandigarh 

Entire Haryana went under lockdown on Tuesday, a day after the state government issued the order to help check the spread of coronavirus.

The state government had earlier ordered lockdown in Gurugram, Faridabad, Sonipat, Panipat, Jhajjar, Rohtak and Panchkula districts till March 31 but later decided to extend the measure to entire Haryana.

However, all essential and emergency services are exempted, officials said.

At some places, police had a tough time persuading people who were out for non-essential work and sending them back to their houses.

In Bhiwani, at a check barrier, the police had to deal with a number of two-wheeler riders many of them who were out on roads for non-essential work.

"We are persuading them and sending them back to their homes," said a police personnel on duty at one such check barrier in Bhiwani.

In Jind, Rewari, Sirsa and Rohtak as well, policemen were seen persuading and even warning people who were out for non-essential work.

There were a couple of instances where the police made a group of youngsters do sit-ups because they defied the lockdown order and they warned them not to repeat the offence.

Police personnel and administration officials could be seen appealing to people at many places across the state to stay indoors.

An elderly resident in Panchkula said that if people continue to flout lockdown measures then imposing curfew will be the only option left with the government.

"It seems some people still do not understand that the entire world, including India, is going through a phase of public health emergency and these people adopt a casual approach. The government should impose curfew like in neighbouring Punjab and UT Chandigarh before things go out of control," he said.

Haryana's ADGP (Law and Order) Navdeep Singh Virk posted a series of tweets to explain to people what a lockdown means.

"It is a situation where because of a public health emergency all public and private offices/shops/ establishments are closed by law (except those exempted) and restrictions are imposed on movement of people," Virk said in one such tweet.

On public queries if they can come out to purchase essential items, Virk in another tweet, said, "If urgent may go to buy essentials to a shop in your locality either alone or at most be accompanied by one family member after following the social distancing norms."

He also said that lockdown has been ordered by the government under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 and those not obeying the lockdown order are liable to be arrested and prosecuted under relevant provisions of law.

During the lockdown, all commercial establishments, shops and factories will remain closed, except those dealing in essential commodities like food, grocery, medicines, the officials said.

Other essential services such as water supply, sanitation and electricity supply are also exempted from the lockdown, the officials said.

Public transport services, including taxis and autorickshaws, will be off the roads in the state, they said.

"We will ensure that the lockdown is strictly enforced, though essential and emergency services will be maintained," state Home Minister Anil Vij said earlier in the day.

State borders will remain sealed during the lockdown period and inter-state bus services suspended.

Section 144 of the CrPC which prohibits the assembly of five or more people has been imposed in the state. Those violating the lockdown will invite punishment under the law, Vij warned while appealing to people to cooperate with the government.

So far, 14 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the state.

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

First Published: Tue, March 24 2020. 15:16 IST