KARACHI: On the second day of a Sindh-wide lockdown, police on Tuesday arrested 376 people for defying curbs imposed for a 15-day period across the province.
A senior government functionary also warned the people of imposing a curfew if they continue to violate the lockdown measures.
A spokesman for the Sindh police said a total of 748 persons, including 246 alone in Karachi, were arrested during the first two days of the lockdown.
Figures released by the Sindh police said that the arrests were made in eight ranges — three in Karachi and five in the rest of Sindh — of the police’s organisational structure across the province.
“The ranges include Karachi’s South, West and East and Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Shaheed Benazirabad, Sukkur and Larkana. Total 132 cases have been registered during two days of the lockdown,” he said.
Information Minister Nasir Shah says a curfew can be imposed if lockdown violations not stopped
Most of the people arrested have been booked under Section 188 of the Pakistan Penal Code, which defines “disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant” that “could be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month or with fine which may extend to six hundred rupees or with both”.
The police action in some areas appears to have lost momentum but in some localities the law enforcers are found to be stricter with strong measures. However, the situation largely remained under control of the law-enforcement agencies across the province with no major panic or untoward incident reported.
The Sindh government, however, insisted that it was monitoring the situation closely and it could take a much stronger move in the next phase.
“If the people do not follow the government’s instructions issued to control the spread of the coronavirus and they keep on coming out of their homes unnecessarily then a curfew would be imposed by the government,” said Sindh Information Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah in a statement.
“I personally apologise [to] the people on behalf of the Sindh government but we are left with no other choice then to take these drastic measures. The control of the spread of the coronavirus is not only limited to Pakistan but the whole world has been affected by this pandemic. All other countries in the world are taking extreme drastic measures for this.”
He said the government was aware of the problems of the people and that all the government functionaries were constantly working to lessen their problems.
He said that the people should also understand that the spread of the coronavirus was a natural disaster and that in such a situation sometimes the government was completely helpless.
Published in Dawn, March 25th, 2020