Braving rains, policemen were out on streets to enforce a strict lockdown across Jammu region on Tuesday as authorities announced mandatory 14-day quarantine for those entering the Union Territory from neighbouring states.
Acting tough against people defying the 10-day shutdown effected since Sunday evening, police registered nearly 100 FIRs, sealed several shops and seized many vehicles across the region, officials said.
Despite intermittent rains lashing the city and and the region, the policemen with masked faces stood guard at various key intersections and stretches of deserted roads barricaded with barbed wire to discourage people from venturing out of their homes.
Only those providing essential supplies and services or having any emergency were allowed on roads by cops, who won instant praise on social media for braving rains and risks to keep the society safe and secure from the deadly virus.
Jammu and Kashmir administration on Monday sealed the interstate borders with Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and the UT of Ladakh, a day after imposing a 10-day shutdown in the entire region as part of the efforts to combat coronavirus.
The administration has added a few more items including poultry and meat to the list of 16 essential services to be available to the residents during the shutdown.
Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam visited Lakhanpur, bordering Punjab along Jammu-Pathankot highway, and ordered strict sealing of the border, the officials said.
Anyone wishing to enter Jammu and Kashmir including local students and those who have gone outside for work or holiday will have to undergo 14-day quarantine," District Development Commissioner Om Parkash Bhagat said.
He said there will be no compromise in enforcing the lockdown to curb the spread of the virus spread and prevent the disease from upgrading further.
Officials said over 300 persons, including local residents, reached Lakhanpur border to enter the UT but only those willing to undergo the quarantine were allowed.
Trucks carrying essential supplies, however, were allowed without any hindrance after proper screening of the drivers, said officials.
The UT administration also restricted the opening time for shops selling essentials and daily use items, including vegetables and milk, to a few hours in the morning and evening in different districts.
They also warned of stern penal action against those found misusing movement passes.
The Maintenance of essential services is important but at the same time, the movement also need to be curtailed. Therefore, in view of the above, it is hereby ordered that all such persons should remain stationed at their respective places of posting. Movement passes shall be valid only for movement from residence or place of stay to the work place and back.
No intercity or inter-tehsil movement shall be allowed on daily basis even for people providing essential services," an order issued by Poonch District Magistrate Rahul Yadav said, warning that strict action would be taken against anyone leaving their place of posting or station and found misusing these movement passes.
To ensure that people visiting groceries shops to buy essential commodities stay at a safe distance from each other to observe the social distancing norm, the policemen have come up with the innovative idea of marking waiting spots for the customers in front of shops.
They have also advised people to follow social distancing when step out to buy essential commodities.
A police official said nearly 100 FIRs were registered against those who were found violating district magistrates' orders in various districts, including Jammu, where nearly three dozen FIRs have been lodged, 27 shops sealed and 124 vehicles were seized, officials said.
Likewise, the official said over 70 cases were registered in Samba, Poonch, Doda, Rajouri and Kathua districts over the past couple of days against people breaching prohibitory orders.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)