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Strict restrictions ordered across Srinagar till March 31: Govt

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SRINAGAR: 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.
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.
Notably, the district admin was forced to take these measures as movement of people was witnessed in many areas on Monday.
Eyewitnesses said that almost every market in the interior of Srinagar city witnessed huge rush. Crowds were seen outside in large numbers even outside ATM’s.
People were seen in large numbers buying essential commodities from shops even in some parts, people were seen busy in gossips at shop fronts.
Witnesses said that people in large numbers were seen roaming in the interiors of Srinagar city including Sanat Nagar, Mehjoor Nagar, Jawahar Nagar, Dalgate, Sonawar, Bemina, Qamarwari, Zainakadal and other areas.
In some parts, construction work was going on smoothly. In Rajbagh area scores of non-local labourers were seen busy in construction work.
In South Kashmir’s Shopian district, police registered a case against violators who defied government orders. A large number of people were seen roaming in Shopian, busy in gossips and even some parts of Valley, youth were seen playing cricket and carom.
Meanwhile, SSP Srinagar, Dr Haseeb Mughal appealed people not to venture out unnecessarily and abide by the government rules. He said isolation is the best remedy to combat lethal Coronavirus.
“We appeal people to avoid social and religious gatherings. Stern action will be taken against violators and every business centre that remains open will be sealed,” Mughal told reporters.
He appealed social media users to refrain from posting any news report about Coronavirus without any authentication.
Dr Haseeb Mughal asked people to stay indoors and come out only in case of any medical emergency.
“In case of any help, people should call our helpline number 112,” he added.
Meanwhile, due to lock down life was disrupted across Kashmir. Police in different parts were seen patrolling on roads asking people to stay indoors. In some parts, police carried out a flag march and pressed drones into services to monitor the movement of the people.
City centre Lal Chowk wore a deserted look. Barricades were erected at intersection to curb the movement of the people. The roads and highways were also barricaded to stop the movement of vehicles.
Earlier 144 CrPc was imposed, restricting the assembly of more than 4 persons at a place, after a 67 year old woman from having travel history tested positive for Coronovirus, making her the first positive COVID-19 case from valley. Restrictions were also imposed on public movement to deal with the Coronavirus threat. (with inputs from KNT)

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