Altaf Hamid Rao:
MIRPUR (AJK): Azad Jammu Kashmir remained fully-locked the second successive day of the 3-week complete lock down on Wednesday as the people across the liberated territory mostly adhered to the prohibitory orders to territory to help authorities stopped the spread of corona virus, that has gripped over 196 countries across the planet.
Azad govt. of the state of Jammu & Kashmir had imposed the lock down across the state Mid last night to avert the threat of the spread of the pandemic.
It was not the curfew-like situation – since the individuals were allowed to move to meet their necessities of life including for purchase of edibles and medicines during the lock down in the state, comprising 10 districts and three divisional headquarters.
At the same time, the law enforcement agencies – the AJK police, continued chasing those, mostly youngsters, roaming the streets on bikes unnecessarily and booked hundreds of such roamers found wandering assuming the prohibitory orders as the festivity during the lock down in major city streets both in urban and rural areas in various areas of the state.
176 of such wanders were rounded up by the police only in Mirpur district during last two days since the lock down clamped the state to disband the daily life for the sake of overcoming the spread of the epidemic.
The streets continue giving deserted look as the shops, shopping malls and major business centers remained closed except the shops of edibles including bakery items, milk, vegetables and fruits. All kind of private and public service vehicles stayed in inter-city, inter-provincial and national routes to and from Azad Jammu Kashmir whole of the first day of the lock-down.
All universities, school and colleges continued to remained shut besides closure of offices of all private and public-sector departments across AJK following the locked down to avert threat of the spread of the deadly virus that engulfed a major part of the world leaving the daily life paralyzed in the affected countries.
The AJK government Wednesday announced to continue shutting all the private and state-run educational institutions throughout AJK till May 31 this year without any pause, in view of the ongoing due steps to combat the pandemic that has threatened a major part of the world including Pakistan and AJK.
Thousands of the travelers hailing from various parts of Pakistan and Azad Jammu Kashmir remained stranded at in various parts of the country and AJK following suspension of the plying of all kind of private and public service vehicles. Non of private or public service vehicles were allowed to operate to and from Azad Jammu Kashmir including this thickly populated district following the restrictions announced by the State government to act upon the lock-down strictly.
National and regional Newspapers could not reach their respective destinations following the suspension of the vehicular traffic to and from AJK during the lock-down that would continue for next three weeks, as announced by the AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan following the advent and implementation of the strict lock-down to avert threat of the spreading of COVID-19, the corona virus that had engulfed major part of the world since over a last couple of weeks.
This APP correspondent visited various small and major streets of this expatriates city of Mirpur to assess the situation and found duty officials of the law enforcement agencies and civic bodies including Divisional Commissioner Ch. Muhammad Raqeeb, DG MDA Ch. Ejaz Raza, City Administrator Tahir Mirpur, local police and civil administration officers including Deputy Commissioner Tahir Mumtaz, SSP Irfan Saleem, ADC (G) Raja Qaiser Aurangzeb, SDM Munir Queshi, DSP city Ch. Ansar Mahmood and others were found extra alert and vigilant to ensure the complete adherence and implementation of the lock down in letter and spirit across the district – besides supervising the measures to combat the epidemic through required means including spray for disinfection of the public places including the major city streets.
The law enforcement agencies allowed those found traveling for purchasing the livelihoods especially the edibles. Hospitals amdMedical stores also remained opened whole the day to facilitate the seekers with the medicines and other required Medicare.
As reported earlier, the AJK government had decided to impose three-week lock down with certain measures on emergency grounds to ensure social distancing and self-quarantine to discourage the emergence of new cases of the epidemic.
AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider had, in a televised address on Monday, made it clear that the recently-promulgated prohibitory orders, would neither be curfew nor lock down situation but be a precautionary step to help stop the spread of deadly corona virus.
Besides all kinds of private vehicles, the inter-provincial, inter-district and inter-city public transport which were already suspended for the past four days, would continue to be banned for operation for the next three weeks. However, government will ensure uninterrupted supply of edibles and pharmaceutical items
Journalists were exempted to move, during lockdown, for performance of their professional duties.