An ambulance driver was booked after police intercepted the vehicle and allegedly found that he was trying to ferry seven persons from Metoda village in Rajkot district to a village in Una taluka of Gir Somnath district in violation of prohibitory orders issue by the government to contain spread of novel coronavirus.
A team Rajkot taluka police ordered to stop the ambulance at Patidar Chowk on Ring Road-II on the outskirts of the city at around 5 am when it was coming from Metoda. The driver could not give a satisfactory answer as to why seven people were on board the ambulance. “During further questioning, he confessed that four men and three women on board the ambulance were not patients but people working in a factory in GIDC and some working from home and that he was on his way to drop them to Paswala village in Una taluka for a fare of Rs 18,000,” police inspector Jayesh Dhola, in-charge of Rajkot taluka police station told The Indian Express.
Dhola said that the seven wanted to return to their home in Paswala village as factory was closed. Later in the day, an FIR was registered against the eight under IPC Sections 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 188 ( Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) for allegedly assembling in number greater than four and moving out of their homes despite there being a government order to remain indoor due to threat of spread of novel coronavirus infection.
The accused have been identified as Akshaykumar Shah, a resident of Anklav in Anand district and an ambulance driver by profession. The passengers have been identified as Dhiru Parmar (45), his wife Malu (42), son Chetan (19), daughter Dharmishtha (21), Paresh Leva (26), Shailesh Leva (18) and Shailesh’s sister Varsha (21). They all were residing in Vrajbhumi Apartment in Metoda village where there is a GIDC estate also. Dhola said the men were working in a factory in Metoda GIDC while women used to make incense sticks.
“Primary interrogation has revealed that he went from Anklav to his father-in-law’s home in Navsari where one person hired his ambulance to ferry a pregnant woman from Ahedabad to Sanakhada village in Una taluka. Accordingly, from Navsari, he went to Ahmedabad and dropped the pregnant woman to Sanakhada. From Una, he was hired again to bring seven persons from Metoda to Paswala. He agreed and picked up passengers from Metoda. However, our constables who were manning the check-post sensed something unusual given the high number of people aboard the ambulance and the early hours they were travelling,” Dhola further said.
Incidentally, Rajkot district has been under lockdown since March 22 due to outbreak of novel coronavirus. The district has so far registered 19 confirmed cases of the infectious COVID-19 disease caused by the coronavirus.
The PI added that all the eight persons were arrested and that the ambulance, which bears a registration number of Anand district has been detained.-
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