GUWAHATI, March 25 - Police resorted to baton charge at several places and detained violators in the State on the first day of the 21-day nationwide lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to prevent the spread of COVID-19 that has taken a heavy toll globally.
�These are extraordinary times and so extraordinary measures have to be taken. The government will take strong action against violators. Everyone needs to follow the government guidelines,� Chief Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna told a press conference after reviewing the situation with all deputy commissioners.
He said the National Disaster Management Act, which has been invoked, is a strong law and violators, including those who break the mandatory quarantine, will be dealt with strongly.
�We have also reviewed the food stock and there is nothing to worry as of now,� the chief secretary said, adding a 12-rake goods train arrived in Tinsukia today and another will reach tomorrow.
Groceries have been asked to supply fresh milk as well as vegetables which are being collected from farmers by the food and civil supplies department.
Sanjay Krishna said in localities where there are no groceries, the administrations have been asked to arrange mobile supply vans. �If there is any shortage anywhere, people can contact the control rooms and necessary action will be taken,� he said.
DCs in border districts have been asked to put travellers waiting to cross the inter-state border in 14-day quarantine in those places itself. The government will bear the necessary expense.
Citing reports that medicos are facing harassment in rented accommodations and in some case tenants are asking them to leave, the chief secretary said any such action against health workers will be dealt with sternly.
Informing that many violators have been arrested across the State, DGP Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta said police in the State needs to be strict as many people were still casual about the situation. �Moreover, I would like to warn that strong action will be taken if any misinformation is spread in social media or through any other means,� he said.
The DGP asked all people related to essential services, including drivers, who move around during the lockdown period to carry identity cards or letters issued by the controlling authorities.
He said the district police authorities have been asked to decongest marketplaces and ensure that social distancing norms are followed even while buying commodities.