Odisha police crackdown on COVID norms violators: 1,71,568 fined in April

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Bhubaneswar, Apr 29 (PTI) The Odisha police have caught over 1.71 lakh people for not wearing face masks or violating social distancing norms in the current month of April and collected more than Rs 5.6 crore penalty from them, Director General of Police (DGP) Abhay said Thursday.

During the period, the DGP said, the police also registered 72 cases, arrested 418 persons and sealed 350 shops/ institutions/markets on charge of COVID guideline violation.

Giving detail, he said, a total of 1,71,568 people were caught for not wearing masks and giving a miss to social distancing guideline from across the state so far in April and a sum of Rs 5,66,65,440 has been realised from the violators by way of fine.

In view of the coronavirus surge in the ongoing secong spell, the Odisha government has doubled the amount of penalty for not wearing face masks in public places to Rs 2000.

This amount is charged for two times and from third chance onward the penalty is Rs 5000 for every violation.

Non-compliance of COVID protocol is resulting in spike in COVID cases with every passing day.

Odisha recorded 6998 fresh coronavirus cases on Thursday, taking the tally to 4,35,513.

With 12 new fatalities, the death toll has gone up to 2029.

The state has a total of 53,031 active caseload at present.

This apart, police have collected fines of Rs 7,06,78,600 for various other violations, the DGP said.

They have also registered 1359 cases under Excise Act and seized 21136 ltrs of liquor, he said.

The DGP said, campaign has been intensified to make people follow COVID curbs, which includes enforcing use of masks, social distancing, implementation of night curfew, weekend shutdown and functioning of border check posts on Chhattisgarh and West Bengal among others in view of the rise of COVID-19 cases.

He said as many as 158 platoons of police force have been engaged in the entire state to sharpen COVID enforcement measures. District SSPs/ DCs and other senior officers are leading the drive.

After Odisha government restricting interstate movement of people, the Odisha police have also tightened its vigil on the borders with West Bengal and Chhattisgarh.

Two permanent check posts at Laxmannath and Udaypur, Talasari in Balasore and at Hatibari and Chaksuliapada in Mayurbhanj are active round the clock on the West Bengal border.

Further, 22 temporary check posts have been set up in Balasore and 32 in Mayurbhanj to seal the borders with West Bengal.

Similarly, border check points at Sindhi Kaliari Chaka have been established to keep a close watch over interstate movement between Odisha and Chhattisgarh in Kalahandi district.

Two border check points at Jonk Bridge and Kusumjore have been established to monitor inter-state movement between Odisha and Chhattisgarh in Nuapada district.

Checks have also been stepped up in Bargarh, Sundargarh and other districts on Chhattisgarh border, he informed.

Stating that the police would further scale up enforcement measures, the DGP urged people to obey COVID guidelines and stay safe. PTI AAM SNS SNS