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After being released, he shared his experience with Prothom Alo, “The police detained me though I was wearing a mask. I was there to see the my looted shop. But I was kept in jail for a night and paid Tk 100.”

Police similarly produced at least 555 people before the court allegedly for violating the government-imposed restrictions. Everyone was released after paying Tk 100.

According to police records, most of detained people were charged for violating the restrictions and keeping their ware on footpaths and stalls.

Some of them were either accused of running their errands amidst the Covid-19 restrictions or creating public nuisance. And they were charged under Section 100 and Section 77 of the DMP ordinance.

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An visit to the CMM court during 11:00am-3:00 pm on Wednesday found majority of the detained people, who had stepped out of their homes or continued their business despite the strict restrictions, were low income persons. This correspondent talked to at least 20 of them.

Additional deputy commissioner of DMP’s media and public relations wing Iftekharul Islam told Prothom Alo that police only bring the restrictions violators to book.

Latest data from DMP’s media and public relations wing said at least 1,102 people had been detained by police while mobile courts fined 245 offenders and DMP traffic department fined 804 drivers for violating the government restrictions on Wednesday.

Effective since 1 July, the strict restrictions to contain Covid-19 infection will continue till 14 July.

Before imposing the latest rule, DMP commissioner Shafiqul Islam, while addressing a media brief on 30 June, warned that police would arrest people roaming outside home without any urgent need during the strict restrictions and will bring them to book. No motorised vehicles except emergency service providers would be allowed on the road. And all shopping malls, community centres and market places would remain closed.

Administrative as well as commercial establishments across the country had been kept closed for 66 days since the outbreak of coronavirus last year. Many low income persons had lost their jobs. The same group of people also suffered before the last Eid-ul-Fitr.

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We are poor, live from our daily earning

Hawker Mizanur Rahman, 55, runs his family with the earning from his small business near the Malibagh intersection in Dhaka. On Wednesday, he came to Malibagh. Police caught him while he was resuming his business.

Later, the hawker was produced to the CMM court. At 2:30 pm he was released after paying the fine.

“We are poor and live on our daily earnings. My shop remained closed for several days. Today (Wednesday) I stepped out of home to open the shop, but police detained me,” he told this correspondent.

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Ripon, 25, came from Mymensingh. He works as an assistant carpenter in Dhaka. He lives in Goran with his wife and 15-month-old baby.

When the young man started off for his workplace at 8:30 am on Wednesday, he was detained by Khilgaon police. Later, he was produced to the CMM court.

After being released from the court, he told Prothom Alo, “I am a day labourer. I had never been to jail or dealt with police. When the police caught me, I was scared. I was released after paying Tk 100 fine.”

* This report appeared in the online edition of Prothom Alo, has been rewritten in English by Sadiqur Rahman.

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