Day two of the lockdown in Delhi, imposed to break the chain of community transmission of the coronavirus disease, saw greater compliance compared to the first day, even as Delhi Police ramped up its action against violators by booking over 5,400 people on Tuesday compared to 575 prosecutions the previous day.
Delhi has been on a complete lockdown from 6am on Monday and was to remain so till March 31. But with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday evening announcing a nationwide lockdown for three weeks, the national Capital too will be shut till April 15.
A senior Delhi government official said the city administration will issue a revised order extending the date of the lockdown as soon as it gets a directive from the Central government.
Under this unprecedented order, which many other Covid-19 affected countries too have issued, residents have been advised to travel only if unavoidable. Public transport has reduced to almost a trickle.
On Tuesday, prosecutions on Delhi's borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, which are sealed, were much higher than day one. But the enforcement of the prohibitory orders was smoother and less chaotic as compared to Monday when there was a lot of confusion and rush among motorists.
Apart from the lockdown, the capital is also under prohibitory orders issued by Delhi Police under section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). The order prohibits the gathering of four or more people in a place and bans protests and any other assembly of persons.
Delhi Police spokesperson Anil Mittal said at least 299 people were booked under section 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) till 5 pm and 5,146 persons were detained under section 65 (Persons bound to comply with the reasonable directions of police officer) of Delhi Police Act for defying prohibitory orders.
"Those booked under section 188 of IPC were arrested while those detained under Delhi Police Act will be let off after completing the legal formalities," Mittal said.
On Monday, police had arrested 100 people under section 188 of IPC while 475 were detained under 65 DP Act.
The number of vehicles impounded increased significantly. As many as 1,018 vehicles were impounded on Tuesday compared to 326 on Monday.
The Ghazipur and Maharajpur (Anand Vihar) borders, used by people coming from various parts of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, saw few motorists throughout the day, traffic police personnel deployed at the spot said.
"Unlike Monday, when motorists included those who were not part of essential service providers, Tuesday saw the flow of vehicles mostly used by people exempted by the authorities for the smooth running of the system," a police officer said.
However, a large number of daily wagers from UP, Bihar, West Bengal and other states working in the city, who are now out of jobs due to the restrictions, found themselves stranded. At Anand Vihar, 28-year-old Raja and his two brothers, failed to get any bus since all inter-state bus terminals (ISBTs)were shut.
"I was employed at a jeans factory in Geeta Colony. My employer asked me to go home for a month or so, but how do I reach Baghpat now? There is no bus or shared-mode of transport," said Raja, lived in a barsaati on rent.
"I gave up that room because it made no sense to pay the rent for a month, when I could save that money by staying in my village. No we have nowhere to stay," he said.
At Anand Vihar ISBT , no passenger was allowed to enter the premises.
A two-layer barricading was in place at Ghazipur border to avoid piling up of vehicles. The police personnel at the first barricades were busy checking IDs of motorists while other group dealt with people who were insisting on entering the city despite they were not authorised.
"We have been using loudspeakers to inform them about the lockdown instructions. The situation is better from yesterday (Monday)," said an assistant sub-inspector deployed at Ghazipur border.
Those arguing with police included people trying to reach the airport to pick up their family members. Some were seeking permission to visit relatives admitted in Delhi hospitals, while a few others were drivers who wanted to pick up their employers from the Capital.
At the Delhi-Faridabad border too, fewer vehicles were trying to enter the city. A policeman stood with a long stick to stop people who were trying to enter without a valid reason. On Monday, the same spot had seen a long queue of vehicles as motorists argued and pleaded with police to let them enter Delhi.
"Most people who needed to enter Delhi or leave the city left on Monday. There is also better awareness now," said a police officer at the border.
Most of those trying to enter Delhi through this border point without an identity card of an essential service provider were people claiming to be needing medical services.
"Unlike Monday, almost all such people had doctor's prescription. We know that some of them were fake or outdated, but we didn't want to take chances and let them in," said another officer.