Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao on Tuesday said “shoot-at-sight” order will be issued if people violate lockdown restrictions imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus, reported India Today. Telangana, along with the rest of India, has been put under a 21-day lockdown from Tuesday midnight. The state has reported 36 positive cases of Covid-19 so far.
“If people will not listen to the police I will ask for army deployment and shoot-at-sight orders will be issued,” the chief minister said while addressing the media at his camp office. “I am instructing all MLAs, ministers, corporators to remain available, it’s the time for their action. We are taking away the passports of patients who have tested positive for novel coronavirus. Those violating home quarantine protocol will also face passport seizure.”
Rao said the state will impose strict curfew between 7 pm and 6 am. All the shops must be closed by 6 pm, he added. “We will deal strictly with violators. If at all they need something, they can dial 100 and the police will help them.” He even threatened to shut down petrol pumps, according to Mint. According to government guidelines, there will be exceptions for essential commodities like groceries, medicines, cooking gas and fuel.
The chief minister said the state government will transfer Rs 1,500 to the bank accounts of below poverty line people in a few days. There have been concerns about how the working class will cope with such an unprecedented lockdown.
Rao also clarified that the police have been directed to allow the media to move about freely. In some places, there are reports that the police are enforcing the ban violently. Social media was filled with videos of the police in some states using lathis against people who have ventured into the streets. On Monday night, for instance, a journalist in Hyderabad was beaten up. “It is a stray incident,” said Rao.
Tamil Nadu threatens to block passports
The Tamil Nadu government on Tuesday threatened to block passports of foreign returnees who continue to go out instead of adopting self-quarantine measures, PTI reported. The state has reported 18 coronavirus cases so far, and of them one died on Wednesday.
Health Minister C Vijayabaskar said 15,298 people have gone abroad recently. “These people are being monitored,” he said. “We are pasting home quarantine stickers in the houses of the respective individuals and have also appointed home guards.”