Hyderabad: As the city enters one week into the lockdown, there is one glaring difference that is visible. This time, the approach of the police, so far, has been different. Soft, but strict. Strict, but not harsh.
Ever since the State government announced the lockdown, police in the three commissionerates in the capital region have been working round the clock to ensure maximum compliance of the lockdown. Apart from creating awareness among people, the cops have also not gone too soft, with strict action being taken against those violating the norms.
According to officials, more than 45,000 people have been booked for violating various Covid-19 guidelines in Hyderabad, Rachakonda and Cyberabad in the last five days. The enforcement was done under five heads, including not wearing masks, not maintaining physical distance, large gathering, lockdown timing and consumption of liquor, pan or tobacco products in public places.
Officials said the prime focus of the police was to create awareness among people on safety and not on issuing challans or booking cases. “Apart from enforcement, we have started massive campaigns across the city as well as on social media. All traffic officers have been making announcements at important traffic junctions throughout the day, urging people to stick to the rules,” said Anjani Kumar, Police Commissioner, Hyderabad, adding that police were booking cases against citizens found on roads without a valid reason.
Senior officials from the Cyberabad Police and Rachakonda Police have been going around inspecting the lockdown implementation. “Most citizens and businesses are cooperating and shops are being shut voluntarily before 10am,” Rachakonda Commissioner Mahesh Bhagwat said. Special police teams were on the job round the clock and violators were being strictly dealt with. Those working in emergency and essential services were permitted on displaying valid identity cards.
Warning citizens about the current pandemic situation, Cyberabad Police Commissioner VC Sajjanar said: “There is a steady increase in the Covid-19 positive cases each day. This is a matter of concern. Unless it is of utmost importance, I urge citizens not to step out of the house,” Sajjanar said.
Senior officials said there were no major complaints on the police being harsh, because there was a marked difference in the approach this time, with people too a little more cautious this time.
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