By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Mar 22: The 14 hour Janata Curfew announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an attempt to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, was successfully enforced all over the State today.
The impact of the citizens' curfew was felt greatly in Imphal and other district head quarters. In fact, today's Janata Curfew was observed even more strictly than any past general strikes and curfews.
As a result of the curfew, Khwairamband Keithel bore a desolated look. Almost all the shops and business establishment, even those located in various leikais and localities, remained closed throughout the day as well.
All inter-State and inter-district passenger services, autorickshaws and taxis stopped today, even though a few private vehicles could be seen. No goods carrying trucks were witnessed operating along the National Highway as well. It is worth noting that the Government has issued an order completely restricting inter-State passenger services.
In some parts of Imphal, police prevented religious activities from being conducted, apart from recommending the organisers to conduct their ritual in such a way so as to ensure lesser crowd or gathering.
Along the major roads, police could be seen stopping vehicles and only letting pass those with emergencies.
Such police checkpoints could be seen at Keishampat Junction, Kangla western gate, Moirangkhom, Palace Compound and other places
It may be recalled that the State Government had locked down Khwairamband Keithel for 5 days from the midnight of March 20. It has also ordered all educational institutions and colleges in the State to be closed in light of the pandemic.
On the other hand, as per the announcement made by PM Modi to honour the health workers and those working in essential services, a siren was sounded from the traffic island near Kangla western gate at exactly 5 pm. Manipur police ensured that the siren was sounded for 5 minutes and immediately people in and around Paona Keithel and Thangal Keithel came out on their balconies and terraces and clapped and drummed on their utensils in honour of the brave people who are fighting against the virus.
Police also sounded sirens from their vehicles reminding the people to clap their hand and ring bells. Some people were also witnessed coming out on the streets and clapping in front of their respective places as a mark of respect to those providing selfless service to the Nation against COVID-19. Fire fighters and Manipur fires service personnel, along with their family members also came out and clapped at Manipur Fire Service HQ, near Mapal Kangjeibung, honouring the men and women who are fighting against COVID-19.