Police shouldn't harass public, says Puducherry CM

Puducherry, June 29 (PTI) Taking exception to the alleged harassment of the public by the traffic police during the COVID-19 situation, Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy on Monday said they should refrain from such acts.

Addressing reporters, the Chief Minister said he has been getting complaints that the police were unnecessarily stopping and asking the motorists to show documents related to their vehicles.

However, he said the police can penalise the motorists for not using masks or not maintaining social distancing as per lockdown norms.

'Police should function as friends of the people not as their enemies,' he said.

Referring to the COVID-19 being at peak now in Puducherry prompting the health authorities to suggest ramping up the tests in rural areas, the chief minister said mobile units have been pressed into service to reach out to the villages.

He said the centrally administered JIPMER had the capacity and facility to test 1,000 per a day while the government-run Indira Gandhi Medical college hospital here could test 300 people a day.

The Chief Minister said the government would also utilise the infrastructure, including beds in private medical college hospitals, to meet the demand for treatment of the COVID-19 stricken people.

He said he had visited a containment zone in neighbouring Koonichampet village where around 170 people had contracted the ailment after coming into contact with some of the workers of a mask-making industry recently.

He said he had acquainted himself with the details of availability of essentials, including medical care, to the people in the containment zone.

On continuation of the lockdown beyond June 30 in the Union Territory, he said that hinged on the decision of the Centre and the Tamil Nadu government.

He reiterated his criticism against the Centre for increasing the prices of the petrol and diesel everyday causing misery to the people whose livelihood had already been hit because of the pandemic.

'I have written letters to the President and Prime Minister requesting the Centre to roll back the hike in prices of the petrol and diesel as the international price of crude oil per barrel was coming down,' he added.

The Chief Minister spoke to the media through video as he has been recommended to remain in home quarantine for a few days though he tested negative for COVID-19. PTI COR NVG NVG