Panvel City Police intercepted two trucks-- a container and tempo near Palaspe Phata-- early on Sunday morning and found 63 people trying to flee the city and go to Karnataka and Satara, respectively, crammed in these two vehicles. The police immediately swung into action and booked the two drivers under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Epidemic Diseases Act, among others.
After Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared a 21-day country-wide lockdown on Tuesday, migrants and daily wage labourers began looking for ways to reach their hometowns. However, after no vehicles other than those transporting essential services were allowed to ply on the roads, scores of people found illegal ways to go back home, leading to human cargo.
In the light of the rising incidents of human cargo after the lockdown, police stepped up vigilance on check points, which led to the interception of two vehicles --a container truck MH-04-JU-5355 and a tempo truck MH-43-BG-2043 near Palaspe Phata-- around 1.30am on Sunday. When the police checked the vehicles, they found 63 people crammed inside these two trucks.
A police officer said, these 63 people included 22 men, 25 women and 16 minors, were being illegally transported in these trucks at a time when the country is under lockdown and the state has imposed Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) Act, which prohibits the assembly of four or more people in an area.
The drivers of these vehicles-- Dhanraj Shivaji Avrade, 45, and Pandurang Lakshman Pawar, 49, were trying to take the labourers to Karnataka and Satara, respectively. They were detained and their vehicles were seized. Meanwhile, the 63 labourers were escorted to CIDCO Exhibition Hall and provided biscuits and tea, after which they were handed over to the health officials for check up.
An officer said, Pawar and Avrade were booked under relevant sections of the IPC and Epidemic Diseases Act, following which they were issued a notice under section 41 of the CrPC Act and released.