With Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaving it to the wisdom of the heads of the state governments and union territories to enforce lockdown or restrictions for reducing the increasing intensity of the covid-19 pandemic in their states and union territories, the Jammu & Kashmir Government like many other state and union territory governments has imposed a mini lockdown by rescheduling the normal business operations for the shops of the markets and public transport services in all the districts in both Kashmir valley as well as Jammu division. Since the police authorities have been asked to impose restrictions in their concerned areas of administrative jurisdiction, the police and forces personnel may use force as a last resort for enforcing the just announced mini lockdown and as such better for the people to show wisdom in adhering to the advisories of the government for their own safety. It may be recalled here that last year incidents of physical assaults on shopkeepers by police and paramilitaries for violating the lockdown orders had evoked sharp criticism and condemnation from people of all shades. Administrative wisdom demands that this year law enforcing authorities show maximum restraint in taking action against the violators to ensure that incidents of assaults on shopkeepers don’t occur the way they had occurred last year. For purchasing goods of daily use and life saving drugs people have to visit markets and that too in the holy month of Ramadhan but the assembly of dozens of people is not to be allowed at shops by police and paramilitaries deployed for law & order duties in the markets and as such people have to cooperate with the authorities at all costs. After the imposition of mini lock down the government has to ensure that goods of daily use and life saving drugs don’t go out of stocks. Though stocks may be available in abundance in Kashmir valley as Deputy Commissioners of valley had claimed so even before the commencement of the holy month of Ramadhan , but measures are urgently needed to address the concerns of people on the availability of goods of daily use and life saving drugs in even the remotest of the remote areas of both Kashmir valley and as well as Jammu division.
Government warning a legal action against people ignoring restrictions put in place for enforcing mini lockdown would by all standards of understandabilities force people to mend their ways but the health facilities and law & order operations have to maintain their presence on the ground to prevent the occurrence of a major health crisis or a law & order challenge.
A proper mechanism for the regular transportation of goods of daily use and medicines has to be put into place for addressing the genuine concerns of the people on their accessibility to goods of daily use and life saving drugs. Government has to keep in mind that the availability of essentials in view of frequent blockades of Jammu-Srinagar highway could push Kashmir into a major crisis. Government warning a legal action against people ignoring restrictions put in place for enforcing mini lockdown would by all standards of understandabilities force people to mend their ways but the health facilities and law & order operations have to maintain their presence on the ground to prevent the occurrence of a major health crisis or a law & order challenge.