X Close

Terror threat, Omicron outbreak: Mumbai cops urge people to avoid New Year parties, impose Section 144 at public places


MUMBAI: Mumbai Police on Friday issued an order under section 144 of the CrPC, prohibiting people from visiting beaches, open grounds, sea faces, promenades, gardens, parks or similar public places between 5 pm and 5 am daily till January 15 in view of the prevailing coronavirus situation.

DCP (operations) S Chaitanya issued the order, which came into force from 1 pm on Friday and will remain in force till January 15, unless withdrawn earlier.

"The city continues to be threatened with COVID-19 pandemic in light of the increase in cases and emergence of the new Omicron variant," the order said.

The prohibitory order was issued to prevent danger to human life, health and safety and to curb transmission of the virus, it added.

Mumbai Police, who are on toes in view of the intelligence inputs about a possible terror attack by Khalistani elements, on Friday appealed to citizens to remain indoors and avoid New Year parties.

The police have beefed up security at prominent railway stations and other key locations in Mumbai in view of the intelligence inputs about the terror threat.

The weekly offs and leaves of the police personnel have also been cancelled so that the entire force remains available to maintain law and order on the New Year eve, officials have said.

Besides that, in the wake of emergence of the Omicron variant of coronavirus, the city police have prohibited New Year celebrations and gatherings in any closed or open space, including hotels and restaurants.

The order to this effect was issued on Wednesday under section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

Taking to Twitter to urge people to avoid parties, the Mumbai Police said, "When your 'F.R.I.E.N.D.S' ask what your New Year's Eve plans are tonight. You being a responsible citizen: I don't even have a 'pla'."

The tweet uses a snap that shows Lisa Kudrow, a female actor from this popular series, lying back relaxed and sipping some beverage with a straw.

"What's Not Up tonight? - Irresponsible party plans!," said Mumbai police in another tweet with a five-second GIF.

Another tweet shows a WhatsApp conversation between two friends, in which one asks the other, "Bro, Aaj ka kya scene, Where to celebrate New year?" Replying to it, his friend posts the news of prohibitory orders issued by Mumbai Police, which mentions a ban on New Year parties, to which the first person responds saying, "Oh, Okey" with an emoji of a face with rolling eyes.

In yet another tweet, the police used images of prominent places in the city, where people gather in large numbers to ring in the New Year, with hashtag #StayIndoors #CelebrateSafety #31stDecember.

The tweet shows pictures of Gateway of India, Marine Drive and Chowpatty with messages - 'Gateway' of safety', 'Home, Go home, back up the road 'Lokhandwala', "Don't line up at 'Marines'", "Chow-Party' with your family" and "Hope you 'sea' the 'link' between our request & your safety!" Replying to a Mumbai Police's tweet , a user named Akash Bharadwaj said, "Celebrating with Mom and Dad after 12years .

It took a pandemic to make me realise that I was never home for NYE".

Amid intelligence inputs about a possible terror threat in Mumbai on the eve of the New Year, the city police have beefed up security at railway stations and other public places, and also cancelled the weekly offs of its personnel so that the entire strength remains available, officials said on Thursday.

"In order to maintain law and order situation, police are on alert and keeping a strict vigil across the city on December 31.

Considering the possibility of people's gathering at prominent places like the Gateway of India, Marine Drive, a large number of personnel will be deployed in the city on the eve of the New Year," a police official said.

As there were some inputs about a possible terror threat during the New Year celebrations and as railway stations are soft targets, the security of prominent stations has also been increased, another official said.

In the wake of emergence of the new 'Omicron' variant of COVID-19, the Mumbai Police have prohibited New Year celebrations and gatherings in any closed or open space, including hotels and restaurants.

The orders were issued on Wednesday under Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) Section 144 by Deputy Commissioner of Police (operations) S Chaitanya.

"Mumbai police have prohibited all the new year gatherings and parties in closed and open places, there is a possibility that people can gather in the groups not more than four persons," the official said.

Besides the city police, the Government Railway Police (GRP) have also stepped up security at prominent railway stations considering the threat and anti sabotage measures have been taken, he added.

In a tweet, Quaiser Khalid, Commissioner GRP Mumbai said, "In view of the covid 19 situation we advise people to adhere to government directions on the issue."

"We @grpmumbai have deployed large manpower for checking, frisking & anti-sabotage measures at important Rly Stn. We will enforce laws firmly. We request people's cooperation, " Khalid added in a tweet.

As many as 141 Mumbai residents who had not traveled abroad recently tested positive for the Omicron variant of coronavirus on Thursday, the civic body said.

Out of 153 persons who were found to have Omicron infection in the city, only 12 had international travel history, said the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.

But as per the Maharashtra government's release, issued earlier in the evening, out of 198 Omicron cases reported in the state, a whopping 190 were from Mumbai.

The difference in state and BMC statistics could not be reconciled.

As per the BMC update, the tally of Omicron-infected Mumbai residents without history of overseas travel rose to 160.

The total of Omicron cases in the city rose to 290.

Of 141 Mumbai residents without travel history who tested positive to Omicron, the highest 21 are from the K-west ward which includes Andheri West, Juhu and Versova, followed by D ward that includes Malabar Hill, Mahalaxmi and Tardeo areas.

The state on  on Thursday witnessed a massive spike in the daily coronavirus as well Omicron cases as it reported 5,368 fresh infections, which included 198 patients who were found infected with the new variant, the health department said.

The state also reported 22 fatalities during the day.

Of the 198 cases of Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, 190 are from Mumbai.

With this, the tally of Omicron patients in the state reached 450.

The health department said that 1,193 COVID-19 patients were discharged in the last 24 hours, taking the recovery count to 65,07,330.

The state's recovery rate stands at 97.55 per cent.

Currently, 1,33,748 people are in home quarantine and 1,078 others are in institutional quarantine, it added.

A 52-year-old man with a travel history to Nigeria who died of a heart attack on December 28 tested positive for Omicron, but the death had nothing to do with the infection, the release said.

The patient had been admitted to the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation's Yashwantrao Chavan Hospital.

He also had diabetes for the last 13 years, it said.

"The death of this patient was due to non-covid reasons. Coincidentally, today's National Institute of Virology's report reveals that he was infected with the Omicron virus," it added.

Of the 198 Omicron cases reported by the NIV during the day, only 30 have recent international travel history.

Four Omicron cases were reported in Thane city, while Satara, Nanded and the Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad municipal corporations reported one case each.