Mangaluru, Dec 23, 2019: Many citizens who had gone out of the city during the weekend were in for a shock when they returned and the police did not allow them to enter the city on Sunday evening on Bengaluru-Mangaluru National Highway 75 at Arkula Cross. The police appeared to be overzealous in re-enforcing the curfew after the relaxation period ended.
Drivers of hundreds of vehicles entering the city were asked to go back at the Arkula Junction in the evening, eye-witnesses told The Hindu.
Whenever a vehicle driver wanted to reason out the action, the policemen banged lathis on their cars or other vehicles creating fear among the occupants, they said. Public transport vehicles — goods as well as passenger — were, however, allowed.
One of the private vehicle drivers asked where was he supposed to go other than his own residence in the city if the police continued with their action.
While many had to go back to work, some of their wards had exams/tests in colleges and schools. Consequently, many took a de-tour either via Mermajal or via Polali to reach the city on a circuitous route.
Later, it emerged that similar overzealousness was seen the part of policemen on other important routes, including Airport Road, and other entry points where the police completely restricted entry into and exit from the city.
When the matter was brought to the notice of Police Commissioner P.S. Harsha, he said that there was some specific input on NH 75 and hence, the restriction. He, however, said that he has directed the personnel to allow private vehicles on a case-to-case basis after thorough checking of vehicles as well as credentials of the occupants.
Senior police officers admitted that there cannot be complete restriction on the movement of private vehicles, while there could be absolute restriction on the functioning of shops and establishments during the curfew period.