Believing curfew’s over, traders open their establishments

All non-essential item shops forced closed by cops

Believing curfew’s over, traders open their establishments

Cops close entrance to a market selling electronics goods in Hall Bazaar in Amritsar on Monday. Tribune photo: Vishal Kumar

Manmeet Singh Gill

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 3

The extension in the lockdown and changes in guidelines coupled with a flood of confusing and contradictory messages on social media added to the confusion of shopkeepers and residents alike as many of them thronged to markets believing the weekend markets would function normally from Monday onwards.

While many shopkeepers, who were unaware of the new guidelines, opened their shops, the police had to use force to shut these down. The extension in the lockdown came as a jolt for many, who believed that the state government would not impose lockdown on weekdays.

A shopkeeper said: “The state government had earlier stated that it would not impose a lockdown. For the government, some shops might be in essential and non-essential category but for a person whose livelihood depends on it, opening it is very essential.” He said people have not yet recovered from the losses they had suffered during the previous lockdown.

The police also took out flag march in different areas of the city asking shopkeepers to comply with the new orders.

What the new orders say

  • It said all shops selling non-essential items will remain closed
  • The items listed in the essential items include chemist shops, shops selling milk, bread, vegetables, fruits, dairy and poultry products and mobile-repair shops apart from laboratories, nursing homes and other medical facilities.
  • The DC said only two passengers would be allowed to travel in four-wheelers and rented cabs. Pillion riders have also been banned on two-wheelers except under one condition that they live in the same house.
  • The upper limit for gatherings at marriages, cremations and other events has been fixed at 10 persons.
  • The government has also ordered closure of religious places at 6 pm every day.
  • The district administration has clarified that the new orders will remain in place till May 15.

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