After struggling to implement CrPc Section 144 which prohibits assembly of four or more persons in an area, the Delhi Police Monday tightened curbs in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, sealing border pickets with immediate effect and making curfew passes mandatory to enter and exit the city.
This was done after police observed that execution of prohibitory orders in the capital was “not up to the mark”. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also said that several people had not followed the lockdown guidelines and called the behaviour “unacceptable”. He said the lockdown conditions would be enforced more stringently if people did not stay indoors.
Even though the lockdown came into effect 6 am Monday and will last until March 31, police said many people had violated it by claiming they were part of “essential services”.
As a result, a message was sent by Delhi Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava to all police personnel in the afternoon, stating that only those employed with providing essential services should be allowed to ply on the roads. This includes police and paramilitary forces, a section of government officials, healthcare providers, fire services, prison staff, print and electronic media, banks staff, e-commerce of essential goods, takeaway or home delivery staff of restaurants, and chemists, among others.
In an evening meeting, Shrivastava issued an order that all border pickets be sealed with “immediate effect”, but essential goods be permitted without hindrance.
Under the new guidelines, a person with a valid ID that shows he or she is involved with essential services will be allowed to enter and exit the city. A person who does not have one will need a curfew pass, which will be given based on police discretion.
Giving an example, Delhi Police spokesperson Mandeep Singh Randhawa said a man working as a driver with a company providing essential services may not have an office ID, and would hence need a curfew pass to first reach the workplace. Similarly, another officer said that if the MCD wants to outsource urgent work to a private contractor, the authority would first need to procure curfew passes for the contractor and his staff.
“The organisations shall seek curfew passes from the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Police of the district concerned. Additional DCP of the district will issue the passes after assessing the requirements. Private organisations located outside the capital in neighbouring districts may similarly seek curfew passes for employees involved in essential services,” Randhawa said.
Crew members of airlines and ground handling staff will also be allowed entry via border check posts on the basis of their IDs such as an airport entry pass issued by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security.
For those in Gurgaon and Manesar, curfew passes will have to be sought from the office of the South-West DCP; for those in Faridabad from the office of South-East DCP office; Sonepat from Outer-North DCP; Bahadurgarh and Jhajjar from Outer DCP office; Ghaziabad from Shahdara DCP; and Noida from East DCP office.
Police said strict legal action will be taken against those violating prohibitory orders. “Strict checking shall be done at the border pickets as well as pickets within the city to ensure that no gathering or movement takes place in contravention of the prohibitory orders,” the order said. To ensure compliance of the prohibitory order, police said mobile patrolling will be done through the day.
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