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Barricades at villages to ensure lockdown

Squads watch over entry and exit

By Abhijeet Chatterjee in Bankura
  • Published 1.04.20, 3:02 AM
  • Updated 1.04.20, 3:02 AM
  • a min read
Youths stand guard near a barricade at Trilokchandrapur in West Burdwan. (Swapna Barua)

Residents of several rural belts in south Bengal have set up bamboo barricades around their localities to prevent the entry and exit of people to enforce the lockdown and staunch the spread of Covid-19.

Squads of youths were formed to guard the villages and keep vigil on the people’s movements since the lockdown was imposed. “We haven’t been allowing outsiders into our village. At the same, we ask local people not to step out of their homes, unless there is a real emergency,” said Animesh Gayen, a resident of Chorgobindopur in Bankura’s Patrashayar.

Chorgobindopur has around 1,000 residents, mostly farmers.

The villagers have also put up posters in Bengali, urging people to obey the rules of the lockdown and stay at home.

“We grow vegetables on our own. We have enough grocery stocks and a medicine shops. So, there is no need for anyone to go elsewhere. The farmers go to the local biweekly market to sell vegetables. We haven’t obstructed medical help for any patient,” another villager Debabrata Sarkar said.

In West Burdwan’s Trilokchandrapur village, elders sat for a meeting on March 23 and decided to barricade the locality and maintain a 24-hour surveillance.

“We have stopped the entry of outsiders and are thoroughly cleaning the village regularly. We have urged the local gram panchayat to sanitise our village with necessary chemicals,” villager Anal Hembram said.

Trilokchandrapur gram panchayat chief Sahima Begam welcomed the move.

“The villagers are doing the right thing. We have been maintaining hygiene at villages and urged the district administration to take steps to properly sanitise the areas,” she said.

The bamboo barricades have come up around several tribal villages like Arjun Jora and Ajay Tar in Purulia.

Residents of ward 8 at Sainthia town in Birbhum have set up barricades at four spots and deployed volunteers to keep a tab on people’ movements.