Enforce lockdown, legal action will be taken: Centre to states

Updated: 24 March, 2020 07:57 IST | Agencies | New Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi urges state governments to ensure rules and laws are followed

People oblivious of the need to practise social distancing, gather outside the Alami Markaz Banglewali Masjid during a nationwide Janata Curfew, in New Delhi, on March 22. File Pic/AFP
People oblivious of the need to practise social distancing, gather outside the Alami Markaz Banglewali Masjid during a nationwide Janata Curfew, in New Delhi, on March 22. File Pic/AFP

The Centre on Monday asked state governments to strictly enforce the lockdown imposed to prevent the spread of Coronavirus and directed legal action against violators. "States have been asked to strictly enforce the lockdown in the areas where it has been announced. Legal action will be taken against violators," a tweet by Principal Director General of PIB, K S Dhatwalia read.'

This comes just an hour after Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to the public to take the lockdown seriously and urged the state government to ensure that rules and laws are followed. "Many people are still not taking the lockdown seriously. Please save yourself by doing this, save your family, follow the instructions seriously. I request the state governments to ensure the rules and laws are followed," Modi's tweet, roughly translated from Hindi, read.

A passenger looks out from a train door during New Delhi’s lockdown on Monday. Pic/PTI
A passenger looks out from a train door during New Delhi’s lockdown on Monday. Pic/PTI

The Centre and state governments have decided to completely shut down 75 districts across the country where Coronavirus cases have been reported. It has also been decided to suspend the interstate bus services till March 31, government officials said on Sunday. The districts where lockdown was announced are from states that include Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

The development comes in the view that there is an urgent need to extend restrictions, including the movement of non-essential passenger transport, in a bid to contain the spread of the deadly infection, which has already infected nearly 400 people in the country.

Millions of people across the country stayed indoors, streets wore a deserted look and a minimal number of vehicles were on the road on Sunday in an unprecedented shutdown on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal for a Janata Curfew to contain the spread of the Novel Coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed over 13,000 lives worldwide.

SC to hear cases via videoconferencing

Amid Coronavirus outbreak, the Chief Justice of India, S A Bobde on Monday said the apex court might temporarily start hearings all cases through videoconferencing. Modalities of how it is to be done are being worked out, the apex court said. The proposal comes even as the Supreme Court on Monday said that lawyers' chambers in the court premises would be closed due to the health hazard of Coronavirus.

29 arrested for spreading rumours

At least 29 people have been arrested in Rajasthan for spreading rumours on social media and for violating Section 144, confirmed officials here on Monday. Earlier, Chief Minister, Ashok Gehlot, addressing a review meeting on Sunday, had said that any kind of rumours and violation of guidelines could not be tolerated during the lockdown.

Bengal reports first COVID-19 death

The five-day lockdown in vast swathes of West Bengal began on Monday evening, a day when the state recorded its first COVID-19 death, officials said. The lockdown will last till March 27 midnight. A 57-year-old man, who had tested positive for the Coronavirus last week, was on ventilation. A resident of Dumdum in the North 24 Parganas district, he died at a private hospital.

No domestic flights from March 25

N0 domestic commercial passenger flight would be allowed to operate in the country from March 25 onward, the Union Civil Aviation Ministry said in a statement on Monday in order to restrict travel amid the Coronavirus pandemic. India has already banned international flights for a week from Sunday. "The operations of domestic schedule commercial airlines shall cease with effect from the midnight that is 23.59 hours IST on March 24, 2020," a ministry spokesperson said. "Airlines have to plan operations so as to land at their destinations before 23.59 hours on March 24, 2020," the spokesperson added.

Market bleeds

. BSE sensex plummets 3,934.72 points or 13.15 per cent to 25,981.24 on Monday after several Indian states announce lockdown
. NSE Nifty nosedives 1,135.20 points or 12.98 per cent to settle at 7,610.25
. The rupee plummets 90 paise against the US dollar
to 76.10 during the day

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First Published: 24 March, 2020 05:51 IST

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