Srinagar: Curfew-like restrictions remained imposed for the fourth successive day to contain the spread of Novel Coronavirus in this summer capital and many other parts of Kashmir valley on Sunday, when Janta Curfew is being observed across the country.
Shops and business establishments remained closed, while streets wore a deserted look, as locals and traffic were off the roads in the valley, where the J&K Muslim Wakf Board has suspended prayers at it’s affiliated mosques and shrines, besides stopping display of ‘Holy Relic’ on the occasion of Mehrai-ul-Alam (SAW) celebrations.
Many shops, hotels and a school have been booked for violating the government order in the valley, where train service also remained suspended.
Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said that extra security forces would be deployed across the valley to ensure that strict restrictions are imposed.
”It may be Janata curfew per say, but the history of Kashmir is as such that whatever the situation is, restrictions cannot be imposed without the police or security forces enforcing them,” Mr Kumar told reporters during a press conference here on Saturday.
Many roads in downtown, uptown and civil lines remained sealed with barbed wires, while security forces were directing people to remain indoors in these areas, asserting that curfew was imposed since early morning.
”Since early this morning, security forces were making announcement through loudspeakers, directing people to remain indoors, in view of curfew imposed in the district,” Muzafar Ahmad, resident of Nawakadal, told UNI.
The main Nallahmar road from Tarabal Nawa Kadal to Khanyar crossing remained closed for any vehicular movement for the fourth day on Sunday.
Security forces have closed the main roads in downtown and SeK with barbed wires at Nawa Kadal, Rajouri Kadal, Kawdara and Khanyar. Similar road blocks remained erected by security forces at Nowhatta, Rangar stop and Gojwara.
Road connecting uptown Srinagar with civil line was blocked with barbed wire at Natipora, where even pedestrians were also not allowed to move forward. Shops and business establishments were closed in Lal Chowk, the nerve centre of Srinagar and other parts of civil lines.
Similar reports were received from other parts of the valley, particularly from Kupwara and Baramulla in north, Budgam and Ganderbal in central and Anantnag, Pulwama and Kulgam in south Kashmir.
An elderly woman, who had recently returned from Saudi Arabia, became the first person to be tested positive for Novel Coronavirus in the valley.
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner of Srinagar Shahid Iqbal Chaudhary said that strict restrictions would be imposed on Sunday on public gatherings, assembly and movement in Srinagar.
”No public movement or activity will be allowed anywhere in the district. Only government officials with valid IDs will be allowed to move,” he said.
He further said that concerned agencies have been directed to ensure strict enforcement of restrictions across the district.
”Strict action will be taken against the violators of the order. Government officials have been asked to ensure no one is found ferried in their vehicles,” Mr Chaudhary added.
He said the order issued under Section 144 of CrPC states that the decision to impose restrictions has been taken as a preventive measure, aimed at preventing spread of COVID-19.
He said the provisions of ‘Disaster Management Act 2005’ have been invoked. ”Obstructions or Refusal to comply entail fine & imprisonment up to two years. Some officers and private persons put on notice today,” the DC added.
”It’s important that people who come in contact with Coronavirus positive case(s) immediately report to the nearest health facility or our 24×7 control room.
”Rumours and unverified information shared on social media will certainly attract strict action. Let’s act like responsible citizens. Every information /advisory will be shared officially,” he added.
J&K administration spokesperson Rohit Kansal on Wednesday said the first positive case was detected from Khanyar, Srinagar.
”History of foreign travel. Arrived on 16/3/2020. Put in Isolation. Surveillance started in 300m area. Request all to cooperate. Also Immediately self report any symptoms,” Mr Kansal wrote on twitter.