The complete lockdown on Saturday was part of the state government's step to implement biweekly lockdown from July 23 to August 31 to break the chain of COVID-19 infection amid admission of community transmission in some parts of the state.
West Bengal was witness to strict enforcement of complete lockdown on Saturday with the police cracking down on violators, resorting to lathicharge and arresting 3561 people from various parts of the state for violating the protocol.
The number of arrests in the city was about 1000, officials said.
“Across West Bengal, around 2561 people were arrested,” a senior official of West Bengal police said adding the force had to weild the bation in many places to enforce the lockdown.
The complete lockdown on Saturday was part of the state government’s step to implement biweekly lockdown from July 23 to August 31 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, were closed as restrictions were strictly enforced, the officials said.
Flight operations at Netaji Subhas Chandra International airport were suspended following a request by the state government to the civil aviation ministry.
Long-distance trains were rescheduled, Railway official said.
Essential services like medicine shops and health establishments remained open as these were kept out of the purview of the lockdown. Petrol pumps are also allowed to stay open.
In the city police patrolled all the major traffic intersections to keep a check on people coming out on the streets. Special police teams were seen patrolling various parts of the city, particularly containment zones.
In several places police were seen punishing lockdown violators by making them do squats.
Barricades were put up in various parts of the state, the officials said. In Hooghly district, police resorted to ‘Gandhigiri’.
The personnel of the force were seen garlanding the violators and escorting them to their homes.
Schools, colleges and other educational institutes in the state are closed since late March when the first phase of the nationwide lockdown started.
BJP mocked the state government over the lockdown and said had it implemented it sincerely in April the situation would have been different.
“The state government is completely clueless on the lockdown,” West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh said.
His comments drew sharp criticism from the ruling Trinamool Congress which said the biweekly lockdown is being implemented after consultation with health experts.
“Dilip Ghosh should stop talking on matters which he does not understand. The biweekly lockdown has been implemented after talking to experts,” senior TMC leader and spokesperson Sougato Roy said.
A complete lockdown was earlier imposed in the state on July 23, 25 and 29 and August 5.
The COVID-19 toll in the state went up to 2004 on Saturday, the state health department said.
A bulletin by the department said that 2,949 new cases were reported from various parts of the state during the day
pushing its coronavirus count to 92615.
According to a notification issued by the state government, total lockdowns will be imposed on August 20, 21, 27, 28 and 31.