(With additional inputs) Kolkata, Aug 20 (PTI) West Bengal Thursday witnessed strict enforcement of the government's twice a week complete lockdown with the police cracking down heavily on violators in a bid to check the spread of the contagion.
The lockdown will remain in force on Friday too.
A total of 2542 people were arrested from across the state, including 378 in Kolkata, on the charge of violation of the lockdown guidelines and safety precautions.
The complete lockdown on Thursday is part of the state government's plan to implement shutdowns every week since July 23 to break the chain of COVID-19 infection amid admission of community transmission in some parts of the state.
All public transport, government and private offices, banks and other commercial establishments, barring those dealing with essential services, remained closed due to the lockdown.
Flight operations at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport was suspended following a request by the state government to the civil aviation ministry in this regard.
Long distance trains were also rescheduled due to the lockdown.
Essential services like medicine shops and health establishments remained open as these were kept out of the purview of the complete shutdown.
Petrol pumps are also allowed to stay open on the lockdown days.
Police patrolled all major traffic intersections in the metropolis to keep a check on people coming out on the streets without any valid reason. Barricades were put up in various parts of the state, the officials said.
Special police teams were seen patrolling various parts of the city, specially containment zones.
Hit and run cases were reported in some parts of Kolkata during the lockdown. Traffic constables were deliberately hit by speeding vehicles when they were stopped during naka checking.
In Kakurgachi area of the city two persons were arrested for hitting an on-duty constable with their speeding car.
In several places police were seen punishing lockdown violators by making them do squats and frog jumps.
The police also resorted to lathi charge in some areas to disperse the violators.
'Across West Bengal, around 2146 people were arrested.
A total fine of Rs 10600 was imposed. The overall situation is peaceful,' a senior official of West Bengal police said.
Schools, colleges and other educational institutes had remained closed in the state since late March when the first phase of the nationwide lockdown started.
There was complete lockdown in the state on August 5 and 8.
There will be complete lockdown on August 21, 27 and 31.
West Bengal registered 1,25,922 COVID-19 cases, including 2,581 fatalities, till Wednesday. PTI DC SCH PNT KK KK KK