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Central team at its door, state cranks up stay-home vigil in Kolkata’s red zones

One of the red zones in Kolkata, Raza Bazar area was barricaded and was teeming with a large posse of policemen. Streets were deserted.

Written by Santanu Chowdhury | Kolkata | Published: April 22, 2020 3:26:09 am
Central team visited several places in Kolkata in connectionction with COVID-19 on Tuesday, April 21,2020.Express photo

“All the people are advised to stay inside their homes. If you need any essential items, let us know. We will send them to your doorstep. Don’t violate the lockdown or else legal action will be taken against you,” blared a public announcement system held by a policeman at Raja Bazar junction in north Kolkata on Tuesday.

One of the red zones in Kolkata, Raza Bazar area was barricaded and was teeming with a large posse of policemen. Streets were deserted.

However, Saturday was different as people were seen violating the lockdown.

Residents in the area told The Indian Express that police presence had intensified since Monday – the day an inter-ministerial central teams (IMCT), sent by the Central government, arrived here to review the state’s handling of novel coronavirus. The city police has adopted a proactive approach to enforce the lockdown. Around 12 30 pm, Joint CP (crime) Murlidhar Sharma visited Raja Bazar Junction and gave directions to on-duty policemen.

“Since yesterday, we have been seeing a lot of activities by police. This was missing since red zones were identified. Today, police are not allowing anyone to venture out of their homes without a valid reason,” said Imran Hafeez, a resident of the area.

Doctors with rapid test kits also visited the area for tests.

In other red zones too, police presence has been scaled up and lockdown compliance strictly monitored.

At Beckbagan Row in central Kolkata, a large number of policemen were seen manning the barricades to seal the area. No one without emergency was allowed to exit the area while outsiders were barred from entering it. “We have been asked to strictly enforce the lockdown,” said an on-duty police officer.

At Belgachia in north Kolkata, policemen were deployed on both sides of RG Kar Road. The slum at the foot of Belgachia flyover has been sealed following a number of COVID-19 positive cases and rapid test samples were taken on Monday.

“The surveillance has increased since Monday. More policemen arrived early morning. People are willingly taking part in the rapid test which was done yesterday. This will continue. The entire area has been cordoned off and people have stopped violating the lockdown,” said Shahid Akhtar, a resident who runs a medicine shop in Belgachia.

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