People stand in a queue to get free food during the lockdown in Kolkata on Sunday.
People stand in a queue to get free food during the lockdown in Kolkata on Sunday.

Kolkata: Several were detained for breaking the lockdown protocols on day one of the lockdown in West Bengal as the Kolkata police were seen patrolling at the streets at Howrah Bridge.

According to police sources, post 10 am shops have been ordered to remain shut (as per the time fixed by the West Bengal government), however several shops in both North and South Kolkata were kept open for which initially police had to resort to lathi-charge to close the shop and disperse the crowd.

In greater Kolkata, at several places, sweet-meat shops were seen open even before the scheduled timings and police were seen forcibly pulling down the shutters as people since morning started assembling in front of the shops.

“The complete lockdown is imposed to curb the pandemic but people are still casual in their dealings. Though they are wearing masks, unnecessary congregations are something that cannot be avoided at several places in Kolkata and adjoining areas. Markets from Gariahat to Maniktala were opened post the scheduled timing for which they were closed forcibly,” said sources at Lalbazar (Kolkata Police Headquarter).

At Howrah Bridge, police were seen noting down the numbers of the cars and the passengers were asked to give valid reasons for stepping outside, failing which the passengers were either sent back home or were being fined.

“Since morning several people citing the emergency crisis entered Kolkata from Howrah but they neither had prescriptions or details of the emergency. In order to curb this menace we have started naka-checking,” said a police officer at Howrah Bridge.

Meanwhile, several passengers who reached Kolkata through long distance trains waited for hours at the railway stations as the cabs charged exorbitant prices.

“I stay in Ranaghat and in a special train reached Kolkata. The yellow cabs are charging 2000 rupees and the app-cabs are also charging high. All of us are stuck inside the railway station and since there is no public transport available we have to face this problem,” said Swasti, a passenger at Sealdah station.

In order to break the chain of the pandemic, the West Bengal government on Saturday had imposed 15 days lockdown in West Bengal. According to West Bengal secretariat sources, post May 30, after reviewing the situation the Trinamool Congress government will plan the next step.

Notably, with 147 deaths in the last 24 hours, West Bengal recorded 19,117 new covid cases.

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Free Press Journal