Hundreds arrested, fined in Dhaka as Bangladesh cracks down on pandemic breaches

The police have arrested several hundred people across Dhaka for going outside ‘without emergency need’ during the nationwide lockdown imposed to curb a surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths.

Published : 1 July 2021, 07:04 AM
Updated : 1 July 2021, 06:36 PM

Dhaka Metropolitan Police said on Thursday night they arrested 550 people and prosecuted them under the DMP Ordinance.

As many as 391 others were detained, but later freed on bond.

Mobile courts fined 212 others.  

Under lockdown restrictions only emergency service vehicles are allowed on the roads.

Police have started cases against 274 vehicles and collected hundreds of takas in fines for breaching these rules.

They have also fined shop owners tens of thousands of takas for opening their stores in breach of the restrictions.

The Tejgaon division of police detained 157 people until 1pm.

“Legal action is being taken against them,” said Mrittunjoy De Sajal, additional deputy commissioner of police.

The ‘toughest lockdown’ imposed by the government began at dawn on Thursday and will continue until Jul 7.

Over 100 people have been arrested in Mirpur for leaving home during the lockdown ‘unnecessarily’, said Mahtab Uddin, deputy commissioner of police for the Mirpur Division.

As many as 36 cases were filed and up to Tk 99,000 was collected in fines until the afternoon, said Darus Salam Police OC Tofayel Ahmed.

Police from the Mirpur Division initiated cases against 98 vehicles and imposed fines on them. A RAB-4 mobile court also fined three people, two drivers and a motorcyclist, at Mirpur’s Darus Salam for not wearing masks.

Vehicles and pedestrians were stopped on the road and asked why they were outside, said Anisur Rahman, the executive magistrate of the mobile court.

Three of them were penalised, while the others were given warnings, he said.

A vehicle with a pharmaceutical company sticker stating ‘Emergency Medicine Supply and Manufacturing’ was detained. The driver, Sujan Miah, was not wearing a mask and could not provide any identification from the pharmaceutical company. He was fined Tk 1,000 for not wearing a mask.

Another car driver was fined Tk 200, while a motorcyclist was fined Tk 500.

“We are working to implement the decisions taken by the government to halt the spread of the coronavirus,” said RAB-4 Captain Mozammel Haque.

“We aren’t just levying fines. We are issuing warnings and distributing masks as well.”

Uttara police detained 32 people from different parts of the area, said Saiful Islam, deputy commissioner of police.

Two people were arrested at the Sugandha intersection and two others at Shahbagh for ‘going outside unnecessarily’, said Harun-or-Rashid, additional deputy commissioner of police from the Ramna Division.

“Legal action will be taken against them under the Penal Code for violating government orders.”

“We have arrested 10 people so far for going outside without sufficient cause,” Mahin Farazi, assistant commissioner of the Mohammadpur Zone.

Police say they detained 38 people, filed cases against 25 vehicles and collected Tk 25,600 in fines from the Lalbagh area.

Cases have been filed against 19 vehicles and Tk 45,200 collected in fines from vehicles in Motijheel. Nine stores have also been fined Tk 18,500, while two individuals were fined a total of Tk 1,100.

Wari police say they collected Tk 70,000 in fines and filed cases against 15 vehicles.

They also detained three people for leaving home ‘without sufficient reason’. They also fined 16 individuals a total of Tk 1,700.

Gulshan police collected Tk 61,000 in fines after filing cases against 21 vehicles. They detained seven individuals and penalised eight.

RAB, like police, have set up checkpoints at intersections across the city to help enforce restrictions on the first day of the lockdown.

“We began inspections this morning,” said RAB Executive Magistrate Palash Kumar Basu, who was stationed outside BIRDEM. “Most of the people we inspected were able to show sufficient cause. Some were seeking medical treatment, while others were travelling abroad.”

A notice from the Cabinet Division on Wednesday said that the lockdown would last from 6 am on Thursday to midnight on Jul 7 and that the army would be deployed alongside law enforcers to ensure restrictions were followed.