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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: When it comes to implementing the lockdown in State, the enforcement by Odisha police has been of the kind of an iron fist with a velvet glove. Despite the firmness shown by Odisha police, the rate of violation of lockdown in Odisha has gone up in the first fortnight of the month of April vis-a-vis the last nine days in March (Mar 23-31).

The data shared by Odisha Police shows the total cases of lockdown alone violations in the State stood at around 1,837 for the period of April 1 - 17.  In contrast, the same violations during the period of March 23-31 was 1,605. Significantly, the number of arrests made for violating lockdown in the State stood at around 2,500, informed sources.

It seems Odisha police have their hands full during the unprecedented times of Covid-19. There are not only lockdown violations, rumour mills too have given the worst nightmare to the State police. However, Odisha police have come hard on the rumour mongers too in the State. The police data shows a rise in rumour mongers in the State during the last fortnight, which raises an eyebrow.

As per Odisha Police information, during the last 17 days, a total of 18 cases were registered in the State for rumour mongering; whereas state police have registered only half a dozen cases of rumour mongering between March 23 and March 31. The numbers convey a substantial rise in cases of rumour mongering or spreading of fake news in Odisha during the period of April 1-17.

The observed trend is fake news or rumour mills take the charge when a situation on the ground plunges to a state of tense. It has been observed that cases of Covid-19 posted a sharp spike in Odisha and India during the same period of April 1 - 17.

When the Covid-19 positive count in State had been mere 5 till March 31, the cases in country were at around 1600 till March end. Fake news makers apparently had the field day, given the abnormal spurt in Covid-19 cases in both the country and Odisha during the last 15-days.

Meanwhile, Odisha police have also registered nearly 130 cases for violation of COVID-19 related guidelines, including home quarantine violations.

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