Bengaluru sealed off: 2 years jail for violating quarantine, one month for wandering

Police form special team to track down 20K foreign-returned people who ought to be in quarantine

Bengaluru: Starting Monday midnight, Bengaluru will be sealed off completely to tackle the outbreak of coronavirus in the city, the city’s police commissioner Bhaskar Rao announced late Monday evening.

No vehicles will be allowed to come in or go out of the city. All bus services, both inter-state and inter-district, will be suspended.

Section 144 would be in force throughout the city.

The clampdown will begin midnight of Monday (Mar 23) and end at 12 midnight on March 31.

Bhaskar Rao warned that any assembly of five or more people will be prohibited. Only vehicles used for emergencies will be allowed and movement of private vehicles will be restricted.

All flyovers in the city will be closed to private vehicles. Only ambulances and vehicles used for essential services will be allowed.

To enforce these restrictions, the police have invoked IPC section 269 (unlawful or negligent acts that are likely to spread infection of any disease dangerous to life) and 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life). Violaitons of these laws entails a punishment of two years in jail.

“We will mercilessly take action,” Bhaskar Rao said.

In other measures, the services of Ola, Uber and otheer taxicab services have been suspended.

Friday prayers in Masjids have been suspended.

People have been told to celebrate Ugadi festival inside their homes.

Provision stores, ration shops, departmental stores and meat shops will remain open.

Swiggy and Zomato will be allowed to deliver food.

Barber shops, beauty parlours, florists, clothing stores and electronics stores will be closed.

All hotels will not serve but will open takeaway counters.

Policemen will be out to monitor the situation in the localities. Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) platoons will be deployed across the city to assist the police department.

Local police stations will take a call on which shops can remain open.

Commissioner Bhaskar Rao chaired a high-level meeting of all senior police officers including 18 DCPs and 40 ACPs in the city.

A special team of personnel from the police and the BBMP has been set up to monitor people in quarantine.

DCP Isha Pant will head the special team.

The team has received inputs from the Kempegowda International Airport (KIAL) that as many as 43,000 persons returned from various countries between March 8 and March 19.

The team will round up these 43,000 persons and ask if they have been in isolation. If not, they will be asked about who they have been in contact with.

Till yesterday, the team managed to identify 20,000 people and issued self-quarantine notice to them.

Police teams will pay surprise visits to the houses of people who are supposed to be in self-quarantine.

Police are gathering inputs from intelligence agencies as well. Neighbours have been the primary source of information for the police.

Foreign returned people will have a seal imprinted on their hands.

If people with such a stamp on their hands are found roaming outside, they will be picked up and put in government isolation centres.

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