Janata Curfew: 'Lockdown is not a time to chill at Marine Drive,' says Mumbai Police

Updated: 22 March, 2020 07:25 IST | Anurag Kamble | Mumbai

As the state faces a partial shutdown, cops try to curb spread of coronavirus infections by controlling crowds at public places.

People enjoying the sea breeze at Haji Ali. Joint Commissioner (Law and order) Vinoy Choubey said that legal action can be taken against those who flout orders. Pic/Atul Kamble
People enjoying the sea breeze at Haji Ali. Joint Commissioner (Law and order) Vinoy Choubey said that legal action can be taken against those who flout orders. Pic/Atul Kamble

With schools, colleges and several offices shut, and other places such as theatres and malls not functioning either through last week, several Mumbaikars were seen hanging out at public places such as Marine Drive, and Worli Sea Face. However, the Mumbai Police has decided to reduce crowding at these spots through announcements and counselling, saying that without self-isolation, the infection will continue to spread.

Instructions have been given to police officers to ensure that crowds are minimised at public places. Those who violate the orders will face legal action.

mid-day tested the situation at Marine Drive, Haji Ali, Worli Sea face, Bandra Bandstand and Carter Road and found citizens stepping out either for fresh air or to exercise. Among these were both children and senior citizens, who are particularly vulnerable to the disease.

Even as the Narendra Modi government announced a Janata Curfew on Sunday, the Maharashtra government has imposed restricted movement in the state until March 31. The government has asked citizens not to venture out unless absolutely necessary. But, watching the crowd at these spots, Mumbai police has stepped in.

"We have a partial lockdown situation, citizens must understand and act accordingly. We have found not only local residents coming out at the Marine Drive promenade, but those from the suburbs or Thane, Kalyan to witness a crowd-free Mumbai. This is dangerous and has to stop," said a senior police officer, on condition of anonymity. "Some citizens are even using private vehicles to come for a walk or to pass time," he added.

Speaking about the measures, Joint Commissioner (Law and order) Vinoy Choubey said, "We have started making announcements at such spots and are trying to make citizens understand that restrictions are for their wellness and they seem to be responding. If we still find crowds, we may take legal actions as well."

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First Published: 22 March, 2020 05:04 IST

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