On the very first day back of the strict Covid-19 lockdown, 403 people were put under arrest by police, and 441 vehicles were fined by LEAs, for violating various protocols put in place as part of the lockdown restrictions.
The arrestees were out on the streets violating restrictions, said DMP Additional Deputy Commissioner (media) Iftekharul Islam.
Meanwhile, mobile courts collected Tk 127,270 in fines from 203 people.
The Traffic Division collected Tk 10.6 lakh in penalties, from vehicles failing to comply with the extraordinary restrictions in place.
Dhaka fell quiet in one fell swoop Friday, after restrictions imposed as part of the nationwide lockdown that started July 1 - the 'all-out' or 'maximum' lockdown - kicked in again. The features that differentiate the July 2021 lockdown in Bangladesh from any previous lockdown or restrictive protocol during the pandemic can broadly be identified in three streams:
i) Law-enforcement agencies were given the authority to perform mass arrests of the public if need be, of citizens found in breach of lockdown rules. Agencies have in turn shown their willingness to use it. Even on resumption day, over 400 such arrests were reported.
ii) Larger deployments of the security and law enforcement agencies, including Army and BGB battalions.
iii) Mobile courts jointly operated between agencies and local administrations working far more proactively to nab and even track/hunt down offenders, coupled with more aggressive use of their fining authority.
The lockdown restrictions came into force at 8am today and will continue till August 5 midnight, unless extended again as announced by the government on Thursday, upping its guard against the devastating Delta variant of Covid-19.
Today (Friday), the first day of the resumed lockdown, the number of vehicles seen in the capital was much lower than any other day during the last week.
Even then, many were seen in the morning returning to Dhaka through different ways as public transports were taken off the roads following the fresh order.
The government’s order for everyone was to stay in their respective areas as offices, courts, garment factories and all other export-oriented industries will remain closed during the period.
Rab and army personnel, deployed to enforce the strict restrictions, were seen checking the movement of people and vehicles at different points of the capital in addition to the duties performed by the police.
Until 10am, some public transports, carrying passengers, were allowed to enter the capital.
Akhtar Hossain, a traffic police officer, said some of the long-haul buses and vehicles were allowed to enter the capital through Uttara and Abdullahpur as they were stuck on the roads before entering the capital. “After 10 am, no vehicle was allowed in without valid ground,” he said.
In response to a query, Akhter said, “The government order is to maintain the lockdown strictly and we’re doing that today. Only the vehicles used for emergency services are allowed to move.”
Meanwhile, those returning to Dhaka from southern districts were seen entering Dhaka on foot through different entry points of the city like Tongi Bridge, Aminbazar Bridge, Babubazar Bridge and Postogola Bridge.
Most of them were bus passengers who had to get off from the vehicles before entering the city due to the suspension of traffic movement.
Members of law enforcement agencies were seen making them wear masks and maintain health rules as per the order.
On Thursday, State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain told UNB that this lockdown will be stricter than the one imposed last time. Police, paramilitary Bangladesh Border Guard and the Army will keep a strict vigil on the roads, he said.
Earlier, the government eased the lockdown restrictions in the country for eight days due to Eid-ul-Azha that was celebrated on Wednesday.