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Pune: As cases spike, cops ramp up action against those breaking mask, social distancing rules

Since the beginning of the lockdown till Tuesday night, various police jurisdictions across Maharashtra have registered 1.56 lakh cases under IPC Section 188, leading to arrests of 29,793 persons and seizure of 88,783 vehicles.

By: Express News Service | Updated: July 8, 2020 10:50:23 pm
Karnataka coronavirus updates, Bangalore coronavirus updates, Karnataka covid latest news, Bangalore covid latest news, Karnataka covid cases rising, bangalore corona hospitals, indian express, Bengaluru news, Bangalore news Pune currently has 109 areas demarcated as micro-containment zones, which have far stricter rules than non-containment areas. (Express photo by Amit Chakravarty)

As the number of Covid-19 cases surge outside containment zones, both Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad Police have intensified action against violations of safety norms, movement restrictions and vehicle capacity rules in the last five days.

Pune City and Pimpri-Chinchwad Police have filed nearly 2,400 and 2,000 cases, respectively, in the last five days. These cases have been filed against people for violating containment zone rules, movement restrictions in non-containment areas, night curfew, vehicle capacity rule, and also for not wearing masks, violation of social distancing norms at public places like shops and other establishments.

Currently, both Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad have night curfew between 10 pm and 5 am, in accordance with the state government’s directives. Pune currently has 109 areas demarcated as micro-containment zones, which have far stricter rules than non-containment areas.

Since the beginning of the lockdown, offences have been registered under Indian Penal Code Section 188 against violators. The section pertains to ‘Disobedience to order duly promulgated by a public servant’ and attracts a jail term which can extend up to six months and a fine — if the disobedience ’causes danger to human life, health or safety’. Otherwise, the quantum of punishment is one month.

An official said since the beginning of the ‘unlock’ phase, the number of cases being filed on a daily basis across police jurisdictions in Maharashtra has reduced.

In a recent joint press conference of senior administrative, police and civic officials, Pune District Collector Naval Kishore Ram had signalled that if cases continue to surge and some residents continue to violate social distancing norms and movement restrictions, the authorities will be forced to “initiate harsh measures”. Pune Police Commissioner K Venkatesham had said, “We do not take pride in filing these cases but we are left with no choice, considering the violations. We will have to continue to take action”.

Pune City Police has registered a total of 2,432 cases from July 3 to 7, against those not wearing masks (778), people walking on roads without any reason (901), people using vehicles without any reason (3,360), vehicles seized (262), vehicles with more than allowed capacity (1,070), shops open beyond the allowed timings (45), and social distancing violations in shops (3).

Pimpri-Chinchwad Police Commissioner Sandeep Bishnoi said, “We have intensified the drive against people violating safety and movement norms. We hope that stringent enforcement will result in fewer violations. We will further intensify the enforcement in the coming days.”

Pimpri-Chinchwad Police has registered 1,985 cases under IPC Section 188 in the last five days.

Since the beginning of the lockdown till Tuesday night, various police jurisdictions across Maharashtra have registered 1.56 lakh cases under IPC Section 188, leading to arrests of 29,793 persons and seizure of 88,783 vehicles. A total fine of Rs 11.5 crore has been collected from the violators.

Cases among Maharashtra Police surge

Covid-19 cases among Maharashtra Police personnel rose by 278 cases between Tuesday morning and Wednesday morning, going from 5,435 to 5,713. Among the 5,713 cases, as on Wednesday morning, 1,113 remained active. As many as 71 police personnel in the state, including five officers and 66 constabulary staff, have till now succumbed to Covid-19.

The major chunk of the total caseload and deaths from the two lakh-strong Maharashtra Police has been reported from Mumbai, its surrounding areas and among personnel of Maharashtra SRPF deployed in high-risk areas, who were later repatriated to their home units. Other than Mumbai and SRPF, a significant number of cases has been found among cops in Malegaon, Thane city, Pune city, Navi Mumbai and Solapur.

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