After Prime Minister Narendra Modi drew a “Lakshman Rekha” Tuesday night asking people not to step out of their homes beginning midnight for 21 days, Haryana’s Home Minister Anil Vij came out with a formula defining the ‘Lakshman Rekha” for state residents.
Vij told The Indian Express that the grocery stores, vegetable shops and chemist shops in Haryana shall continue to remain open, but with ‘Lakshman Rekha’ marked 1.5 metres apart in queue in front of every such shop to implement the mandatory norm of social distancing.
“These [grocery stores and chemist shops] shall stay open. How can people stay without it? But, I have suggested a formula. In my video conferencing with all the Superintendents of Police today, I said that there should be a lane marking with 1.5 metres intervals for customers outside each grocery, chemist and vegetable shop. Basic concept is that we have to maintain distance. Shopkeepers must also use [face] masks and follow proper cleanliness and hygiene. Whichever shopkeeper implements it, should be allowed to function. Same things should be adopted in both government and private hospitals. The SPs have begun implementing it. I am receiving messages from many places that it is being implemented,” Vij told The Indian Express.
Talking about state government’s effort to provide interruption free essential services to the people of the state, Vij added, “If it is implemented, then what is the problem? We do not have a problem with people coming, we have a problem of people getting mixed up.”
About religious places, Vij said, “Same instructions should be followed at religious places too. Devotees stay put on the lane markings at a distance of 1.5 metres away from each other, pay obeisance turn by turn and go back. Since Navratras are also starting, anybody who wants to have a family function, can do it. But, we shall not allow any public gathering”.
He said there can not be a gathering of more than 20 persons at marriage functions. A government officer will be present at the venue and ensure that chairs are placed at a distance of 1.5 metres. “Similarly, for the cremations/ prayer ceremonies (Kirya/ Bhog), a gathering of 7-8 persons can be allowed,” he said.
Vij also reacted to Punjab health minister’s letter to union ministry in which the latter had mentioned about 90,000 NRIs returning to Punjab. “Since such a large number of NRIs have entered Punjab in last one month, I have issued directions to seal the borders”.
Even while Punjab and Union Territory of Chandigarh (which is also the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana) has ordered curfew, Haryana has stuck to “lockdown” and has also imposed Section 144 CrPC. While assembly of five or more persons is banned in Gurugram and Faridabad, assembly of more than 20 persons is prohibited in all the remaining districts of Haryana. However, the District Magistrates are authorised to modify these restrictions, depending upon the situation.
Day one of lockdown in Haryana: 60 FIRs, 90 arrests, hundreds of motorists challaned
On the first day when entire Haryana witnessed a lockdown and Section 144 of CrPC, more than 60 FIRs were registered and 90 persons arrested for violating the lockdown norms.
“On the request of Ministry of External Affairs, instructions were issued to all districts to facilitate the evacuation of foreign nationals. In this regard, several nationals of Brazil, Israel, Germany and Bhutan were assisted by Haryana Police to be evacuated”, said Navdeep Singh Virk, ADGP (Law and Order), Haryana.
“DGP Mr. Manoj Yadava is monitoring the entire situation and is in constant touch with all the Commissioners of Police and Superintendents of police in all the districts. Besides the FIRs and arrests, hundreds of challans were issued to motorists and their vehicles impounded for violating the norms. Tuesday being the first day of the lockdown, people were also educated and warned wherever minor non-compliance was found. People were also facilitated to the shops for their very basic necessities, but after following social distancing norms,” said ADGP Virk.
“Several needy persons who were facing difficulties in reaching the hospitals for treatment were also taken to hospitals in police vehicles not only in Haryana but a few patients were also transported to AIIMS, New Delhi,” added Virk.
Giving details about the implementation of lockdown in the state, Virk said, “Adequate numbers of police personnel were deployed at every interstate check-points. The DSP rank officers have been deputed at 10 important entry points on National Highways in the state from 8 am to 10 pm everyday till further orders to sort out various issues if they so arise regarding lockdown. PCRs and other vehicles of the Police Department disseminating relevant messages educating the public about lockdown. In an effort to augment district police, additional Home Guard Volunteers have been provided to districts.” (With PTI inputs)
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