Gujarat: watch out for the morning walkers, you may end up locked up

AHMEDABAD/VADODARA: In confinement times, the propagators of good health have been insisting on the need to be active for physical and mental rejuvenation. However, the quintessential morning walk ended in a confinement for at least 60 people in Ahmedabad and Vadodara, as they were booked by the police for violating prohibitive rules to stop the spread of Covid-19.

In Ahmedabad, 23 people were reserved for walking on the main roads and some on the society's campuses at the Vastrapur Police Station alone. At Satellite, 10 walkers were booked. In Vadodara, the police reserved two dozen morning walkers from Sayajigunj, a walker's paradise in the city of Banyan, which is mainly used for walking or jogging.

In the Naranpura area, there was a great drama when three police officers arrested three men when they were caught with the camera of a drone while they were walking through the common plot of their housing society.

Police officers said they were seen violating social distancing rules. Locals responded by saying the purpose was defeated when they packed dozens of people in police vehicles and locked them up.

“We follow the rule of social distancing as we walk in our society. However, the policemen picked us up from within the society and then made us sit down with 20 other people, which was a true disregard for social distancing, ”said Jayesh Patel, a Naranpura resident.

Inspector JR Patel of the Naranpura police station said the defendants were caught on camera walking nearby. The lock is small in size, where 20 to 25 people can be held, Patel said.

In Vadodara, the Sayajigunj police said many people were seen cheerfully driving away on the Kamatibaug highway, near the Narhari circle and in Pratapgunj, near the Rosary School. All were arrested and taken to the Sayajigunj police station, where the crimes of violation of public notification and the commission of an act that can endanger the lives of others by spreading the infection of the dreaded virus.

Those arrested include an entrepreneur, software engineer, real estate agent, restaurateur, sandwich shop owner, professor and MS University student, tailor, housewife, among others. All of these morning walkers are residents of Pratapgunj, Sayajigunj, Fatehgunj, Nizampura and Akota.

Although most of these people walked individually wearing masks, the police arrested them. “The closure means that no one can leave their homes, either in a group or individually. Of course, if someone is going to buy essential medicines or items, then it is a different case, ”said Inspector S G Solanki of the Sayajigunj police station.

While senior police officials have given a green signal to people who walk during the shutdown, they advise that it is best within their homes, on terraces and on society campuses, while maintaining sufficient distance. With cases on the rise, walking on the roads should be strictly avoided.