Police continue to make arrests for breach of stay-at-home orders
Dhaka looked all but deserted on Friday, as sporadic rain and patrols by law enforcement agencies kept people off the streets on the second day of the nationwide ‘strict lockdown’ to curb Covid-19 transmission.
People were also discouraged from leaving their homes after the detention of over 500 people in the capital on Thursday for pandemic breaches. There were no crowds even at kitchen markets, despite it being a weekend.
“In this lockdown, army, BGB, and police are patrolling across the capital. They have set checkpoints at important intersections. No movement passes are being issued this time. That’s why the people are not going out randomly,” a police officer, who was on patrol duty, said.
A small number of motor vehicles were seen on the roads of the city, but rickshaws were plentiful everywhere.
Rickshaw puller Abdul told Dhaka Tribune: “We are getting a good number of trips during the lockdown, as other vehicles are not allowed to ply.”
Regarding the fares that rickshaw pullers were charging, he said: “We are not charging too much, but some passengers have been giving us a little extra money.”
Law enforcement agencies closely monitored check-posts across Dhaka, but there were fewer patrols than on Thursday as the rain kept most people indoors.
At least 320 people were arrested and another 208 were slapped with fines on Friday for breaching lockdown rules.
The Dhaka Metropolitan Police said that its traffic division imposed fines worth Tk119,900 on owners of 68 vehicles for violating the virus curbs.
Ismail Hossain Sumon, a resident of Modhubag, was seen at a small tea stall in the neighbourhood during the rain in the afternoon.
“I do not like homemade tea. I chose to come out during the rain so that police would not be able to stop me from having a cup of tea,” he said.
The Friday prayers in the strict lockdown were performed at mosques across Dhaka while maintaining health guidelines.
Mohammad Sahidullah, chief khadem of Baitul Mukarram Mosque, said: “We made arrangements for the Jummah prayers as per government's directions. After cleaning the mosque floor with disinfectant, we ensured that prayer rows had a distance of three feet between them.”
On the first day of the lockdown Thursday, 550 people were detained in Dhaka for going outdoors without valid reasons. In addition, 284 vehicles were fined a total of Tk4,63,050, the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) said.
The strict lockdown is set to continue till July 7, at least.