Till 12 noon on Wednesday, cops prosecuted 274 people for violating the lockdown. This was significantly higher than July 29 when cops had challaned 227 people around the same time.
“On the first day of lockdown on July 23, we had arrested 886 people till midnight. We had prosecuted 289 till noon on that day. Yet, compared to that day, the traffic and movement of people were far lesser on the road. We checked everyone out on the road. There was no question of any let up,” said an officer at Lalbazar.
The tone of the day was set from the morning when two ACPs took to the street, manning Chiria More and Sinthi More together with the police. Every vehicle, including the cars with a sticker — even if it belonged to cops or doctors on duty — was checked. Likewise, all pedestrians on the road, be it at the Gariahat Crossing or the Shyambazar crossing, were stopped and asked to explain why they had stepped out of homes. Cops said those found roaming without any proper reason had been sent back home after taking legal action.
“We have been asked not to allow people to gather at one spot without a valid reason. We are ensuring that,” said an officer at Sealdah.
By 6pm, cops had arrested and prosecuted 561 people. Another 271 were held for not wearing masks while 20 drivers too were prosecuted. “We have always seen that if we can prosecute the offenders from the morning, we can always instil fear in the mind of the lockdown breakers. But the fact that there were lesser prosecution in the evening (as compared to July 29) shows we could implement the lockdown across the city,” said an officer at Behala Chowrasta.
At Taratala, police stopped cyclists, flattened the tyres and asked them to return home, carrying their cycles.
At the Sinthee crossing, the cop at the checkpoint was unhappy when it took time for a car owner to show his ID card. “Keep it in your hand. You will need it every 1km,” he said.
Cops also strengthened their presence in certain pockets of central Kolkata as it became clear that the city was finally getting used to the total lockdown.
“We believe that with cases getting reported from across the city, the awareness level among has increased,” said an officer.
On Wednesday, a large number of people had been asked to go back home too.
“We divided the cases into two broad types. Those who violated the lockdown inadvertently were asked to return. But for those who broke the lockdown intentionally or gave flimsy excuses, we wrote down their contact details. Instead of crowding police stations, we told them that we would get a notice issued against them from court,” said a senior officer. The scene was no different in the Salt Lake-Airport area.
At Salt Lake, a large team of officers from different police stations and traffic guards raided several alleys and lanes in the zones notorious for lockdown violations like Baguiati, Keshtopur and New Town and booked five persons till evening and seized 14 vehicles.
Cops also stopped almost every vehicle on the road and questioned them why they were out on the road.
Those who failed to come up with valid reasons were immediately arrested. Total 31 people were arrested and five two-wheelers and one-four wheelers were seized till noon.
Unlike last time, there was no complaint of police stopping people from going to hospitals.