Coronavirus: UP govt clamps down upon black marketers, 163 FIRs lodged

A medic checks the temperature of a policeman during a nationwide lockdown in the wake of coronavirus outbreak, in Prayagraj. Photo: PTI
Amid the coronavirus lockdown, the Uttar Pradesh government has started to clamp down upon black marketers and hoarders of essential commodities, including food.

So far, the UP Police have filed 163 first information reports (FIRs) and booked 228 such accused across the state.

“The state government considers black marketing and hoarding in the present circumstances as an anti national activity and they will be dealt with strictly,” UP additional chief secretary Awanish Kumar Awasthi told the media here this evening.

He warned that such persons would not only be put behind bars, but their entire stock would be seized and they would not be allowed to engage in any business activity in future.

Meanwhile, the police have also lodged 9,015 FIRs under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for defying the lockdown orders pertaining to the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.

“The authorities have put up 5,301 check barriers across UP and have checked more than 10 million vehicles and challaned 2.2 million vehicles,” Awasthi informed and said Rs 4.37 crore had been collected in fine from offenders.

Meanwhile, chief minister Adityanath on Sunday held a video conference with the Member of Parliaments (MP) belonging to UP and urged them to help the state government in the fight against coronavirus.

He is slated to interact with 377 religious leaders belonging to all the 75 districts over video conference later today and seek their support in controlling the pandemic. The CM is further expected to hold a similar interaction with the prominent citizens of the state on Monday.

So far, the government has freed 10,732 under trials lodged in the different jails on either bail or parole, Awasthi said.

Meanwhile, the state government has so far identified 1,499 Tablighi Jamaat attendees hailing from Meerut, Bareilly, Agra, Lucknow, Kanpur, Prayagraj, Gorakhpur, Gautam Budh Nagar (Noida) etc. Of these, 1,205 have been quarantined.

Besides, 315 foreigners, who had attended the Jamaat convention in Delhi, have been identified, of which the passport of 249 persons have been confiscated. The police have filed 42 FIRs in 20 districts in this regard.

A total of 276 coronavirus positive cases have been identified across 31 districts in UP, of which 21 had been discharged after treatment. The Jammat atendees alone accounts for 138 positive cases or 50 per cent of the total UP cases.

Meanwhile, more than 400,000 and 35,000 people are in home quarantine in rural and urban areas respectively, while 105,000, mostly migrant labourers coming from other states following lockdown, have been housed in 3,799 temporary shelters set up by the local authorities.

The government has prepared 132 dedicated Covid hospitals across the different categories and districts. The state has additionally identified 50 private hospitals for conversion into dedicated Covid hospitals on a five day notice.

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