Pics: Spoorthi Ullal / Abhijith N Kolpe / Justin D'Silva
Daijiworld Media Network – Mangaluru/Udupi (ANK/MS)
Mangaluru/Udupi, Jan 8: After months of relaxation, weekend curfew began in coastal districts and rest of Karnataka on the night of Friday January 7 as per government guidelines to control the third wave of coronavirus, especially the fast spreading Omicron variant.
Most people were home by 8 pm on Friday, and by 10 pm the streets were deserted. Police commissioner himself went on rounds to ensure the strict implementation of curfew hours. A few people riding two wheelers and driving cars after 10 pm were stopped and questioned by the police.
With temples and religious centres closed, some people were seen standing outside temples to seek blessings. People who were moving around on Saturday January 8 morning despite the curfew were stopped by the police, and only those with emergency needs were allowed to pass.
DCP Hariram Shankar and other police personnel kept a strict watch near the Clocktower in Mangaluru and stopped vehicles. Around 20 to 25 vehicles were seized and cases booked under Motor Vehicles Act. Vehicles were not seized until 9 am so as to give people grace time.
The DCP said that 99 percent of the people in Mangaluru are cooperating with the police.
Main city bus stands in Udupi as well as Mangaluru were empty. Most shop owners voluntarily downed their shutters in support of the curfew. Similar scenes were seen in Kundapur, Karkala, Sullia, Puttur, Beltangady and Bantwal taluk centres. Police were seen patrolling the areas.
Except emergency, grocery, food items sales and parcel service in hotels, no other services will be available during the weekend, till 5 am on Monday. Government, semi-government and corporation offices which offer emergency services will be open. Lawyers are allowed to function with 50% staff. KSRTC and private buses will operate normally.
Schools and colleges are closed on Saturday. Only examinations that were already scheduled are allowed to be held. Strict surveillance has been imposed at check posts in border areas of both districts.
Police are carrying out checks on main roads of town areas of Udupi, Kundapur and Karkala in addition to state and national highways. The coronavirus tests have been increased from 4,000 to 8,000 per day. Special watch is kept on passengers arriving from Maharashtra, Goa and Kerala.