New Delhi: As Covid-19 cases in India see a steep rise, the call for “social distancing” and national lockdown given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is still being violated by people rampantly across the country.
Despite the fact that the administration is issuing passes for emergency needs, people are still roaming around without any valid reason, undermining the lockdown. Since the lockdown was announced, in the national capital alone, from 24 March to 4 April, police have seized at least 6,550 vehicles for violating lockdown under Section 66 of Delhi Police Act.
 “People are still not understanding the gravity of the situation. This has forced us to take strict action against those who have violated the lockdown. Lockdown is necessary to combat the spread of the virus,” a police official said.
According to Delhi police officials, since the lockdown started, Delhi police has detained as many as 48,071 persons for violating the lockdown under Section 65 of Delhi Police Act.
Sections 65 and 66 of Delhi Police Act empower the police to detain any person or seize any property on public street for not complying the direction of police.
This gross violation of lockdown is alarming as in the last few days, Delhi has become one of the hotspots of the Covid outbreak with 300 positive coronavirus cases and two deaths. The national capital is witnessing a massive jump in cases since the Nizamuddin Markaz fiasco. “This is utter carelessness. From the Prime Minister to healthcare experts, everyone has said how dangerous the situation could be if people don’t obey the lockdown. People should understand the fact that by violating lockdown, they are not only putting their own lives at risk, but that of others too,” Rajan Sharma, National President of Indian Medical Association, said. The scenario is somewhat similar in other major cities such as Kolkata and Bengaluru. In Kolkata, which has recorded 53 coronavirus positive cases, police has arrested at least 3,936 people for deliberately violating lockdown.
In Bengaluru, as on Wednesday, city police seized 6,321 two-wheelers, 227 three wheelers, and 304 four-wheelers. According to officials, all commuters were preliminarily found wondering in the city without a valid reason.  Reacting on the seizure, Karnataka DGP tweeted, saying, “This is not an April Fool’s prank. Two/four wheelers are banned from use till 14th of April. We will seize your vehicle if you cease to ignore this lockdown regulation.” On Thursday, the government, too, directed states and Union Territories to book people who violate the lockdown or make false claims under the relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Disaster Management Act, 2005. This means anyone obstructing enforcement of lockdown could be punishable for jail term up to two years. As per news reports, in a letter to all chief secretaries of the states and Union Territories, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said the lockdown measures issued on 24 March clearly mentioned that “any person violating these containment measures will be liable to be proceeded against as per the provisions of Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, besides legal action under Section 188 of the IPC”.

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