Section 144 invoked in Noida till 30 April as upcoming festivals spark fear of rise in COVID-19 cases

Noida: Police in Uttar Pradesh's Gautam Buddh Nagar on Tuesday invoked section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) till 30 April, prohibiting unauthorised protests and warning of action against people not following COVID-19 protocols like social distancing and wearing face masks at public places, according to an order.

The restrictions have been imposed in view of the upcoming festivals such as Holi, Shab-e-Baraat, Good Friday, Navratri, Ambedkar Jayanti, Ram Navami, Mahavir Jayanti and Hanuman Jayanti amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it stated.

"During these occasions, the chances of anti-social elements attempting to disrupt law and order cannot be ruled out," Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Ashutosh Dwivedi said in the order. During the period, people will have to follow the COVID-19 protocols at public places, according to the order.

Nobody would be allowed to roam around with sticks, rods or firearms at public places except for differently-abled and vision-impaired persons, it stated. "Nobody will be allowed to hold protests, processions or hunger strikes without permission from the competent authority, nor will they encourage anyone else to do so," the order stated.

"No firearms will be allowed inside any government or private office during the period. People who have been provided with armed security personnel by the government will ensure that their gunners stay out of offices," it added.

The police also reiterated the complete ban on celebratory firing at events such as weddings and consumption of liquor at public places during the period and cautioned people against selling, playing or displaying any audio or visual, which may create tension.

"Any violation of the restrictive orders under CrPC section 144 or any of its sub-sections mentioned would lead to prosecution of offenders under IPC section 188," the order warned. .



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