Day 4: Kashmir remains shut; many violate lockdown order; stricter curbs from today

Srinagar, Mar 23: Kashmir continued to remain shut on fourth consecutive day as well in view of the coronavirus pandemic that has rattled the entire world forcing countries to enforce lockdown and seal borders.

The J&K government began enforcing the lockdown from last Friday in view of the increasing number of cases across India. Kashmir so far has seen one positive case while Jammu has three such patients.

While on Monday, most preferred to remain inside their homes, there were many who flouted the curbs and moved out thereby jeopardising the entire exercise of social isolation that is touted as the only way to control the epidemic.

As a result the district administration in Srinagar Monday said that it will enforce stricter measures.

“In view of instances of non-cooperation and violations of restrictions from the general public reported from across the district Monday, the District Magistrate Srinagar Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary has ordered stricter restrictions on movement in the district,” read a government handout on Monday.

The decision to impose stricter restrictions has been taken after taking into account feedback obtained from security agencies and reports of executive magistrates and considering appeals from healthcare professionals and members of the general public of the district.

The order states that till further mechanism has been put in place for movement of all notified essential services the exemption on movement shall apply only to officials of healthcare (including doctors, paramedics and ambulance operators), fire and emergency services, power, water, food and civil supplies and public works departments, officials on duty at quarantine centres and those associated with measures for containment of spread of coronavirus infection, those engaged in transportation of medicines and essential commodities and equipment like ration, petrol, diesel and LPG, and print and electronic media persons.

It states that other organisations like banks and telecommunications related to essential services as specified in government order issued vide number 60-FCS&CA of 2020 dated 22.03.2020 will be issued movement passes for minimum staff required for running their operations.

The order directs that all kinds of business and other establishments will remain closed and prohibits public movement including pedestrian and vehicular up to 6 pm on March 31. Cremations and funerals will be allowed though.

Concerned agencies have been directed to ensure strict enforcement  of restrictions as ordered across the district.

The order issued under Section 144 of CrPC states that the decision to impose strict restrictions has been taken as a preventive measure and are aimed at preventing spread of the coronavirus infection.

Dr Shahid appealed to the general public to cooperate with the administration and ensure strict adherence to the order. He said violation of the order would constitute criminal offence and attract strict action under Section 188 of IPC.

He said the district administration has put in place a mechanism to ensure uninterrupted supplies and deliveries of essential services to the general public of the district. He also said that a proper grievance redressal mechanism is in place to ensure quick redress of concerns.

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