A police officer stands guard in front of drivers and their rickshaws (tuk tuk) which were stopped for not providing valid reasons to travel, during a lockdown following the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Karachi, Pakistan April 9, 2020. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro

Police mull fines for lockdown violations

The officials said the strategy will soon be proposed to the Sindh government

Raheel Salman April 11, 2020
KARACHI: Persistent lockdown violations across Karachi have compelled the city's police to devise an effective course of action to reduce the breaking of the law. As a result, the law enforcers are now pondering imposing fines on those stepping out unnecessarily.

The move is also aimed at decreasing the number of arrests made for the offence and ensuring better protection of police personnel against the coronavirus.

Police officials, on condition of anonymity, have revealed to The Express Tribune that the imposition of a heavy penalty on those not abiding by lockdown orders is under consideration. According to them, it has also been suggested to double the amount of fine in case a person is found to have stepped out of the house without any valid reason for a second time, whereas a third violation will lead to arrest. The officials said that the Sindh government will also be asked to authorise traffic police personnel deployed at pickets to impose fines on violators.

They pointed out that at present, the violators are arrested the first time they are found guilty of the offence, then presented before a court and transferred to jails, increasing the risk of police officials contracting the virus.

The officials said the strategy will soon be proposed to the Sindh government.

Following the enforcement of a province-wide lockdown, the Sindh government has stepped up measures multiple times to ensure that citizens abide by the orders. However, people continue to roam the streets.

Separately, a police spokesperson claimed that over 35,000 citizens were stopped on the city's roads between March 27 and April 9. This included 9,660 in East, 5,120 in Malir, 4,482 in Korangi, 6,533 in South, 3,746 in city, 4,069 in Central and 1,576 in West districts.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 11th, 2020.


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