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Thursday, June 04, 2020

Tracking phone locations, Delhi Police lodge 176 FIRs for breaking quarantine

According to senior police officers, SHOs across the capital’s 15 police districts have been handed the phone numbers that fall in their jurisdiction, and are scanning movement of people using mobile towers. Fourteen districts have compiled the data so far.

Written by Mahender Singh Manral | New Delhi | Updated: April 6, 2020 12:02:28 pm
coronavirus, coronavirus cases in India, coronavirus India, coronavirus India cases, Himachal Pradesh coronavirus, Himachal pradesh schools shut, India news, Indian Express Sources told The Indian Express that staff have been dedicated for this purpose at all police stations, and DCPs are closely monitoring the developments. (Express Photo: Tashi Tobgyal)

After the Delhi government shared more than 25,000 phone numbers of people under home quarantine with the Delhi Police, 176 FIRs have been registered against people whose phone location suggested they had stepped out of their residence.

According to senior police officers, SHOs across the capital’s 15 police districts have been handed the phone numbers that fall in their jurisdiction, and are scanning movement of people using mobile towers. Fourteen districts have compiled the data so far.

“Some officers, after tracking the phone, are also conducting surprise visits. In one such case in North West Delhi’s Mukherjee Nagar, they found a man who was supposed to be in home quarantine taking an evening walk. An FIR was registered against him. In South Campus, police found a man on a morning walk, and booked him under IPC sections 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and

188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant),” an officer said.

Data compiled until April 5 shows that the maximum number of FIRs so far have been registered in Dwarka (35), followed by Outer Delhi (34), South West (31), South East (27), Central (13), South (12) and North West (12). The rest of the districts saw relatively fewer FIRs.

Announcing the decision last week, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said: “We have decided that by taking assistance of police, we will track the phones of people who were ordered to be home quarantined.” These include people who have a travel history as well as those who have been advised home quarantine by hospitals.

Taking inspiration from Singapore and South Korea, which have used the tech route to check quarantine violations, the decision to track movement of 25,429 people was taken in a meeting called by Lt Governor Anil Baijal with Kejriwal, Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar Dev, and Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava. In its statement, the Lt Governor’s Secretariat had said that “technology should be used for contact tracing and checking compliance of home quarantine cases”.

Sources told The Indian Express that staff have been dedicated for this purpose at all police stations, and DCPs are closely monitoring the developments. “If police find a violation, they either question the person over the phone or pay a surprise visit before filing an FIR,” a source said.

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