With police stepping up picketing and booking violators of lockdown rules, the number of vehicles roaming in the city came down sharply on Saturday.
Commissioner of Police Prem Anand Sinha had warned of stringent action against the lockdown violators. Besides, the restriction of timing for keeping grocery and vegetable shops open only between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. also helped the police to keep vehicles and people away from roads.
Picketing at important junctions helped the police from preventing people from moving from one corner of the city to another to buy essential goods. “This also helped in reducing crowds in markets and encouraged people to buy goods in their vicinity,” Mr. Sinha said.
Over 150 persons were booked since Friday. He said picketing will be further tightened from Monday to restrict unnecessary movement.
Meanwhile, Madurai City Police have opened a Help Desk to clarify people on lockdown rules and mechanism for movement of vehicles with e-registration.
Senior citizens and single women can call the Help Desk that would function round the clock over 0452- 2344989; 0452-2531044 and 83000 17920 for assistance.
The help desk will also assist in movement of oxygen tankers and cylinders to hospitals and COVID care centres.
People can also air their grievances through the Help Desk in case of police excesses or harassment for early redressal.
Superintendent of Police Sujit Kumar has appealed to the people in rural areas not to assemble in large number for recreation. Penal action will be taken against those who break the total lockdown conditions on Sundays.
Virudhunagar Superintendent of Police P. Perumal said that except for hospitals, banks, hotels and bakeries, all other shops will remain closed from 10 a.m. “We have been warning people who come with women on vehicles and ask them not to repeat the mistake of travelling to far off places to buy essential goods,” Mr. Perumal said.
However, youngsters were booked, and their vehicles seized for repeated violations. A total of 359 vehicles, including 334 two-wheelers, were seized on Saturday, he added.
Senior police officials kept warning the police personnel on field frequently not to use any force or harass people while discharging their duties.
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