84-hr COVID Curfew Begins in J&K

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A police personnel stands guard near the barricades in Lal Chowk area of Srinagar – KO File Photo: Abid Bhat

Srinagar: An 84-hour curfew came into force in 11 districts of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday evening in an effort to contain coronavirus surge across the Union territory.

The lockdown came into effect on Thursday evening, hours after the Union Territory recorded the biggest single-day spike of 3474 coronavirus cases, while 26 more people succumbed to the infection.

According to eyewitnesses, police vehicles fitted with public address systems made repeated announcements in Srinagar and other districts of the Valley announcing the imposition of an 84-hour curfew. The police, they said, asked the shopkeepers to down their shutters and advised the locals to return to their homes.

At many places, eyewitnesses said, police tightened curbs and disallowed people from venturing out.

“Today afternoon, cops visited my shop and directed me to down the shutters by 7:00 pm. By evening, I had closed my shop,” Mehraj Ahmad, a businessman told Kashmir Observer.

On Wednesday, Secretary of the Disaster Management Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Department Simrandeep Singh had announced imposition of curfew in 11districts of J&K from 7 pm on Thursday till 7 am on Monday.

“Eleven districts including Srinagar, Anantnag, Baramulla, Budgam, Kulgam, Pulwama, Ganderbal, Jammu, Kathua, Reasi, Udhampur will be under ‘corona curfew’ from Thursday evening (7 pm) till Monday morning (7 am)”, Singh had said.

Here in Srinagar, Deputy Commissioner, Mohammad Aijaz Asad also announced “complete lockdown” in this capital city from 7 pm Thursday, a day after ordering imposition of section 144 CrPc to tackle virus spread.

“There will be Complete Lockdown in Srinagar District from 7:00 pm Thursday (29/04/2021) to 7:00 am Monday (03/05/2021). Exemptions apply to essential services. Detailed order shall follow,” Asad had posted on his Twitter handle.

Earlier, the UT administration had announced a 34-hour curfew from 8 pm on Saturday.

On April 8, a night curfew from 10 pm to 6 am was imposed in the urban areas of eight districts, which was extended to the municipal and urban local body limits of all the 20 districts in the UT on April 20.

Health Workers, Journalists Exempted

Meanwhile Kashmir Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar has directed all the units in the valley to ensure hassle-free movement of doctors and other essential workers, including journalists, during the 84-hour COVID lockdown.

People have been asked to dial ‘112’ in case they require any assistance during the lockdown period.

“During the lockdown period, all the police units have been directed to facilitate hassle free movement of doctors, health workers and essential services,” Kumar said on the official Twitter handle of Kashmir zone police.

The IGP said movement of journalists — both from print and electronic media — should also be facilitated.

“Journalists are requested to carry their identity cards,” he added.

As Jammu and Kashmir is going through a second wave of COVID-19 logging more than 3,000 fresh cases for two consecutive days, the administration has announced an 84-hour lockdown in 11 districts of the Union Territory from 7 pm on Thursday to 7 am on Monday.

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