The Maharashtra Police have recorded thousands of violations during the lockdown imposed by the government to curb the spread of the coronavirus with 27,432 violators being booked. The police have also arrested shop owners for illegally opening their shops.
The highest number of lockdown violations in Maharashtra has been reported in Pune city with 3,255 violations since March 22. Mumbai reported 1,679 violations. According to the Maharashtra Police, 27,432 cases of lockdown violations have been registered under Section 188 (Violating an order issued by a public servant) of the Indian Penal Code as on April 8, 2020.
According to the police, they have arrested 1,886 people across the State – 438 of them for violating home quarantine orders, 60 of these arrests were made from the 161 cases of assaulting a police officer for enforcing the lockdown. The police have also seized 12,420 vehicles plying on the road for violating curfew orders. The government had only given the order for free movement to vehicles engaged in essential services.
A majority of the offences were committed in big cities — Ahmednagar (2,449), Nagpur (1,999), Pimpri-Chinchwad (1,993), Mumbai (1,679) and Nashik (1,648).
Since March 22, police control rooms in the State have received 58,009 phone calls from residents to report crimes related to the spread of the pandemic. At least 17,668 of these calls for assistance were made in Nagpur alone. In Mumbai, the police’s emergency helpline – 100 – received 14,698 phone calls. On April 8, the helpline received 3,630 phone calls from residents in Mumbai requesting help.
“We are taking strict action against violators who are roaming without any important work or using a fake ID of Essential Service Providers. So far we have arrested people and seized thousands of vehicles all over Mumbai. The vehicles are then returned to the owner after they pay the fine,” said a police officer attached to the Mumbai Police. “We appeal to the people to stay home and abide by the rules. We are making all the necessary arrangements to ensure no citizen is inconvenienced during the lockdown. Kindly coordinate and cooperate with us,” he added.