The Mumbai police lifted a four-and-a-half-month-long night curfew in the city in August. However, prohibitory orders under Section 144 are still in effect and people need valid reasons to leave their homes.
Prohibitory orders were first issued in Mumbai in March after the Maharashtra government announced the lockdown. The prohibitory orders, which have to be issued afresh every 15 days, had restricted the movement of people between 9 pm and 5 am, except in cases of emergencies.
The night curfew was imposed for the last time by Shahaji Umap, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations), between July 17 and July 31. In an order issued on July 16, he had written that “all movement of one or more persons in the city except for medical emergencies and entities granted exemption by the government” would be restricted between 9 pm and 5 am. Between 5 am and 9 pm, the order prohibited travel for non-essential reasons and directed citizens to only visit shops, markets, hair-dressers, beauty parlours and head outdoors for exercise only within their neighbourhoods. Long-distance travel for these activities was not permitted. In addition, all non-essential movement of people inside containment zones was prohibited.
In subsequent orders issued in July and August, restrictions on non-essential travel and non-essential activities remained but no time restrictions were mentioned. The night curfew ended on July 31. “The curfew was lifted a month ago,” said Umap.
As of Thursday, the police had filed 21,068 cases against persons for violating prohibitory orders.
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