Srinagar: Strict restrictions remained in place in parts of Jammu and Kashmir, including this capital city on Friday on the first day of lockdown that began on Thursday evening in an attempt to contain the spread of coronavirus.
The lockdown in 11 districts including Srinagar, Budgam, Ganderbal, Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama and Baramulla started from 1900 hours on Thursday and shall come to end on Monday 7 a.m. unless extended. The authorities also extended the lockdown to the remaining three Kashmir districts —Kupwara, Bandipora and Shopian— from Friday evening as well as six Jammu districts till Monday morning.
All shops, offices, business establishments and petrol pumps in this summer capital remained closed while public traffic was off the roads. No movement of people, except in medical emergencies and essential services, was being allowed across the Valley, witnesses said.
Since early morning, CRPF troopers and police imposed curfew-like restrictions in Srinagar and other parts of the Valley in an attempt to impose lockdown and prevent people from venturing out of their houses, eyewitnesses said Friday. At many places, they said, forces had placed barricades and laid razor wire to restrict the movement of people and vehicles.
At many intersections, eyewitnesses said, forces had used armoured vehicles to block the road.
Lal Chowk, the commercial hub of this capital city, and its adjacent areas wore a deserted look due to the strict lockdown. A posse of CRPF and policemen armed with sophisticated weapons and riot gear guarded the deserted streets, lanes to restrict the movement of people.
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.
330 Violators Arrested, 10,000 Fined
Meanwhile police have arrested over 300 people and imposed fine on nearly 10,000 others for allegedly violating COVID-29 related standard operating procedures in Kashmir over the past 11 days, officials said on Friday.
"During last 24 hours, police has arrested 118 persons, lodged 103 FIRs and also realised fine to the tune of Rs 90,610 from 730 people for violating the guidelines and rules throughout Kashmir valley," the officials said
They said since the outbreak of the second wave of coronavirus, police have enhanced their efforts to sensitise the masses about controlling the deadly infection.
Slew of measures including restrictions under section 144 CrPC have been put into place to contain the spread of COVID-19, the officials said.
They said police have arrested a total of 330 persons, registered 384 FIRs and imposed fine on a total of 9,977 persons for violating COVID-19 guidelines in the past 11 days.
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