Photos: Spoorthi Ullal / Abhijith N Kolpe / Justin D’Silva
Daijiworld Media Network – Mangaluru / Udupi (ANK / MS)
Mangaluru / Udupi, January 8: After months of easing, the weekend curfew began in coastal districts and the rest of Karnataka on the night of Friday, January 7, in line with government guidelines to control the third wave of coronavirus, in particular the fast-propagating Omicron variant.
Most of the people had returned home by 8 p.m. on Friday and by 10 p.m. the streets were deserted. The police commissioner himself carried out rounds to ensure strict enforcement of the curfew hours. A few people driving two-wheelers and cars after 10 p.m. were stopped and questioned by the police.
With temples and religious centers closed, some people have been seen standing outside the temples asking for blessings. People moving on Saturday morning January 8 despite the curfew were arrested by police, and only people with urgent needs were allowed to pass.
DCP Hariram Shankar and other police personnel kept strict surveillance near the clock tower in Mangaluru and stopped vehicles. About 20 to 25 vehicles were seized and cases registered under the Motor Vehicle Act. The vehicles were not seized until 9 a.m. in order to give people a time of grace.
The DCP said 99% of the people of Mangaluru are cooperating with the police.
The main bus stops in Udupi and Mangaluru town were empty. Most traders have voluntarily lowered their shutters in favor of the curfew. Similar scenes have been seen in the taluk centers of Kundapur, Karkala, Sullia, Puttur, Beltangady and Bantwal. Police officers were seen patrolling the areas.
Except for emergencies, groceries, sales of food products and parcel service in hotels, no other service will be available on weekends, until 5 a.m. on Monday. Government, semi-government and business offices that provide emergency services will be open. Lawyers are allowed to work with 50% of the staff. The KSRTC and private buses will operate normally.
Schools and colleges are closed on Saturdays. Only exams already scheduled are authorized. Strict surveillance was imposed at checkpoints in the border areas of the two districts.
Police carry out checks on main roads in urban areas of Udupi, Kundapur and Karkala, in addition to state and national highways. Coronavirus tests have dropped from 4,000 to 8,000 a day. Special surveillance is exercised on passengers arriving from Maharashtra, Goa and Kerala.