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Drones used to enforce shutdown, more booked for violating prohibitory orders

New Delhi: Drones were deployed to warn people against breaching restrictions and more booked for the violations on the second day of the three-week coronavirus shutdown on Thursday, as central and state authorities ramped up measures to ensure there was no supply disruption of essential commodities.

The unprecedented national shutdown also had a tragic fallout when a 28-year-old man allegedly killed his younger brother for stepping out of their home in Mumbai’s western suburb of Kandivali.

Police said Rajesh Laxmi Thakur killed his younger brother Durgesh after the latter stepped out of the house despite repeated warnings about the lockdown on Wednesday night, an official from Samta Nagar police station said. The official said Rajesh has been arrested.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made a fervent appeal to the countrymen on Tuesday night not to cross the ‘lakshman rekha’ of their homes in the next three weeks to make the lockdown a success  in a bid to halt the spread of coronavirus.

According to data from the Centre and states, at least 15 people have died of COVID-19 and the number of infected cases rose to 649.

Roads wore a deserted look as police personnel kept a tight vigil but violations relating to prohibitory orders continued.

A ruling Congress MLA in Puducherry was booked for allegedly violating lockdown rules and distributing dole in the form of vegetables in bags  to about 200 people outside his home, Lt Governor Kiran Bedi said.

In a WhatsApp message to mediapersons, she said an FIR had been registered against A John Kumar and also the people who had assembled outside his home in Nellithope village on Wednesday. The Orleanpet police also confirmed the filing of the cases.

Police vehicles fitted with public address systems went around the residential areas in several places to announce that restrictions under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) that prohibits assembly of more than five persons are in force and advised people to stay indoors.

 In Srinagar, police were also using drones to announce the restrictions on the movement of people, an official said. In Tamil Nadu, police booked over 1,200 people for violating the Section 144 CrPc order.

Police personnel also adopted novel ways to create public awareness as well as punish violators.

In Sivaganga, police made violators carry awareness banners for a while, even as they were made to stand apart from one another, in an obvious effort to implement social distancing to prevent any spread of the virus.

In the national capital, the Delhi Police directed all its personnel to allow persons and vehicles engaged in essential services to remain operational in the national capital.

All traffic, picket and beat staff have been briefed to allow identified retailers, operators and online delivery services to operate.

This comes a day after the Delhi Police held a meeting with representatives of e-commerce websites and assured them help in ensuring smooth movement of essential services.

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