Karnataka digs up roads near the Kerala border to reduce traffic during the COVID-19 outbreak

On Friday, an official said that police in Karnataka’s Dakshina Kannada district is blocking roads at entry points from neighboring Kerala’s Kasargod district to prevent unchecked ingress. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a police official told IANS that earthmovers had been deployed over the last three days to dig up roads within Karnataka’s jurisdiction to disrupt the smooth flow of traffic from Kerala. “It is humanly impossible to keep track of every individual who crosses the border.”As a result, we devised this plan to halt the flow of traffic from Kerala for the time being, as COVID-19 cases in Dakshina Kannada are on the rise,” he explained. Meanwhile, local locals protested the action by staging a sit-in at the Talapady checkpoint in Kasaragod around three days ago, stating that the Karnataka police’s move was impeding the movement of vehicles into Kerala from Karnataka. Protesters wanted easy access to Karnataka without the requirement of an RT-PCR certificate.

During the rally, police detained everyone who passed the checkpoint in the heat of an argument. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, too, stated that the new restrictions violated the Union government’s directive in this regard. According to the Union Home Ministry’s order, states should not implement travel restrictions or close their borders, he said. “The Karnataka administration has placed more limits in defiance of the Union government’s decision,” he said in the state Assembly. In response to a submission by IUML legislator AKM Ashraf, he stated that steps have been taken to guarantee that the curbs do not cause any inconvenience to the people of the state who travel to the neighboring state for various reasons. Kerala DGP Anil Kant had previously contacted his counterpart in Karnataka, who had assured the CM that the appropriate action would be taken.

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