South Dinajpur police today failed to impose the lockdown in the district in the first half of the day, as people were seen enjoying the “holiday” and continued with their daily activities and gatherings and joy rides in and around Balurghat town.

However, the police and the administration started doing the needful after 11 am and asked people to follow the lockdown orders. People’s gathering at market places was as if on normal days, while the roads were full of vehicles, including two and three-wheelers (toto) till 11 am.

Though police had set up check-points, they were ineffective in stopping the movement of people and vehicles. Meanwhile, Balurghat member of parliament Sukanta Majumdar donated Rs 30 lakh to the district magistrate relief fund to fight the spread of COVID-19.

Also, Trinamul Congress leader Arpita Ghosh appealed to the police to impose the lockdown properly, even as she also requested the people of South Dinajpur to stay at homes. Following initiatives taken by the DSP (Headquarters) the Balurghat police later started strict patrolling and requested people to go back home.

However, markets opened normally.From Sahebkachari to the Sandhya Cinema hall and from Thana More to Yabushree, people were seen flouting the lockdown order.Also later, the Superintendent of Police, Deborshi Dutta, briefly patrolled areas in Balurghat.

“Police should be more active before it becomes too late. This lockdown is necessary for the people. This careless attitude will be very harmful for us, so I will request the police to be very active and impose the lockdown properly” said Dr Samiran Sarkar, a Balurghat resident.

“Officials of the ADM level will monitor the situation in their specific areas. Four officers have been deployed for four specific areas. Officials from the GP level to the Block level will work together and they will ensure that restrictions for lockdown are followed. For proper enforcement of the Complete Safety Regulations, the Gram Panchayat and Ward-wise Officers have been tagged.

They will also monitor home quarantine. They have been asked to submit daily reports to the supervising ADM. The district administration will impose the lockdown properly,” district magistrate of South Dinajpur, Nikhil Nirmal, said.