Charges Against School Teacher Who Flee To Karnataka In Car Amid Lockdown

The woman said to be working in Kendriya Vidyalaya, Pattom in Kerala undertook the journey on April 21 along with her two year-old daughter, police sources said

Charges Against School Teacher Who Flee To Karnataka In Car Amid Lockdown

The woman may have "misused" government machinery as private vehicles would have been stopped: Police

Wayanad/Thiruvananthapuram:

Amid the strict lockdown, a school teacher travelled from Thiruvananthapuram to Muthanga in Wayanad -- a distance of about 465 km -- on her way to neighbouring Karnataka en route to Delhi following which cases have been registered against her and an excise official.

The woman, Kamna Sharma, said to be working in Kendriya Vidyalaya, Pattom, undertook the journey on April 21 along with her two year-old daughter, police sources told news agency PTI.

An Excise Circle Inspector, Shahjahan, had provided his vehicle to travel allegedly on the instructions of Malappuram excise officer, in whose private vehicle, the woman and the child had reached Wayanad border from Thiruvananthapuram, the sources said.

The two were charged under the Kerala Epidemic Act and various sections of the IPC including sect 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection) and 271 (disobedience to quarantine rule).

Because of the lockdown even inter-district travel is not allowed by police and district administration, unless there is an extremely genuine reason.

A senior police official in Thiruvananthapuram said he does not remember issuing any such pass.

The woman may have "misused" government machinery as private vehicles would have been stopped somewhere during the long journey, he said.

She came to Kalpetta in Wayanad allegedly in an official car of the excise department.

Wayanad District police chief R Elango told PTI that an FIR has been filed based on preliminary information and investigations have begun.

"We will check if she has followed procedures in obtaining a pass and if she made any false claim to get the pass."

As per preliminary information the woman came in an excise official's car from Thamarassery (Kozhikode) to Muthunga(Wayanad), he said. Her mode of transport before that--from Thiruvananthapuram to Wayanad--will also be investigated, he said, adding they have no information if she has reached Delhi.

"We will track down her movement," he said Meanwhile, theWayanad district administration has intensified the lockdown protocol from Thursday to prevent people's movement within and from outside the district/state.

Interception at all the check posts on district an state borders of the district, bordering Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, will also be intensified. No one would be allowed to travel frequently to and fro the district under the pretext of official duty.

Wayanad collector Adhila Abdulla said officials from outside the district will no longer be allowed to commute daily.

"Elderly people above the age of 65 should confine to their homes unless it is extremely urgent or unavoidable. Cases will be registered against family members who allow elderly people to go out for buying medicines and other essentials," she said.

Senior citizens, who live alone, can call either the Fire (101) or Police (100) departments for any help and to get things they need, the collector said.

Whatever relaxations were in place have also been withdrawn with effect from Thursday, she added.

Wayanad and Thiruvananthapuram come under the "Orange B" zone where there are some relaxations.

However, Thiruvananthapuram city limits falls under the hotspot area.

Police said a case was also registered against a doctor and her husband who entered Kerala from Tamil Nadu border.