Mumbai Police step up vigil as night curfew comes into force

·3-min read

(Eds: adding police spokesperson's quotes) Mumbai, Dec 23 (PTI) Increased patrolling by police, heightened vigilance and curbs on timings of bars and pubs are back in Mumbai as it has come under fresh restrictions to check the spread of COVID-19 amid concerns over detection of a new variant of the virus.

Police have been conducting marches and are going around streets requesting people to stay indoors, as the night curfew from 11 pm to 6 pm came into force from Tuesday, a police official said on Wednesday.

Those involved in emergency, medical and essential services are exempted from the government order.

Vehicles used for non-essential purposes during the night curfew will be seized, a city police spokesperson said.

Increased police patrolling was seen near the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, Haji Ali areas of south Mumbai in the wee hours of Wednesday.

Police personnel were also seen conducting a march in Dindoshi area here.

They were seen also conducting checks in suburban Goregaon and Malad and asking people, who were out on streets, to go to their homes and adhere to the government's order.

The police have been requesting owners of hotels, bars, pubs and other commercial establishments to keep their premises shut after 11 pm, an official said.

In suburban Kandivali, police personnel were seen patrolling on streets and informing citizens about the night curfew. They also warned of action under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code on assembly of five or more persons.

The police have heightened checking of vehicles by conducting 'nakabandi' (road blockades) at various places in the city at night, and are ensuring no unnecessary movement of more than five persons in any area, the official said.

'Vehicles used during night curfew for non-essential and non-exempted purposes will be seized,' said Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) S Chaitanya, who is spokesperson of the Mumbai Police.

All local police officers, including zonal DCPs, have been out on streets during the night curfew to strictly implement the prohibitory orders, he said.

'Action is being taken against those violating the prohibitory orders. The police were ensuring no shops or establishments are open beyond the given time limit,' he said.

In neighbouring Thane and Navi Mumbai also, the police are ensuring strict implementation of the night curfew order to check the spread of the COVID-19, another official said.

The police on Tuesday raided a posh club near the Mumbai airport, where 34 people, including some celebrities, were caught for allegedly violating COVID-19 prevention norms.

After the raid, the city police had tweeted: 'Party (Nahin) Chalegi Till Six In The Morning! A raid was conducted at a nightclub in Andheri at around 3 am, for flouting COVID prevention norms. Action has been initiated against 34 people, out of which 19 were from Delhi & Punjab, including some celebrities #NewNormal.' Amid growing concerns over a new COVID-19 variant detected in the UK, the Maharashtra government has declared night curfew in municipal corporation areas from December 22 to January 5 as a precautionary step. PTI DC GK GK