The cricket stadium in Sector 16, Chandigarh (Express Photo by Sahil Walia)
Once a ground where the legendary Kapil Dev grew up playing cricket, the stadium in Chandigarh's Sector 16 has been turned into a 'temporary jail' to detain those who violate the curfew imposed to combat the coronavirus outbreak.
“We have converted the cricket stadium in Sector 16 and the sports complex in Manimajra into a temporary jail to house those who are found violating curfew orders,” a government functionary was quoted as saying by IANS.
For violation of curfew norms, a first information report (FIR) will be registered under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against the violator, according to the police. The Director General of Police has been asked to enforce the curfew without any relaxation whatsoever.
The Chandigarh administration on Tuesday stated that the Punjab Jail Manual, Cricket Stadium in Sector-16 and Sports Complex in Manimajra are hereby declared as temporary jail till prohibitory orders remain in operation keeping in view the urgencies arisen due to the outbreak of COVID 19.
Spread over 15.32 acres, the Sector 16 stadium has a capacity to hold more than 20,000 people. This stadium predates the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali and has been witness to the likes of Kapil Dev, Chetan Sharma and Yograj Singh coming up the ranks of youth cricket.
The likes of Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh have also played at the ground on occasion, though the Mohali stadium was the preferred stadium for domestic cricket for the major parts of their careers
The ground has also hosted a Test match between India and Sri Lanka in 1990, the only Test at the venue.