Police seize a container truck carrying 52 people from Kathmandu to Birgunj on WednesdayThe driver has been arrested on charges of hiding the passengers in the truck and ferrying them to Birgunj amidst the nationwide lockdown.
The District Police Office in Parsa seized a container and arrested the driver on Wednesday for ferrying 52 passengers from Kathmandu to Birgunj. The driver was charged with hiding the passengers inside the container truck.
Gautam Thapa, Deputy Superintendent of Police, said, “There were 52 people hiding inside the truck, including three children and one woman.” The container had reached Birgunj at around 1:30 am on Wednesday. “We have detained the driver, Shiva Narayan Mahato and impounded the container,” he said.
According to the District Police Office, the container truck had carried goods to the Capital and returned to Birgunj carrying people. “The driver of the container will be punished according to the prevailing legal system,” said Thapa.
All of the passengers of the container were Nepali nationals. On conditions of anonymity, one of the passengers said that he paid Rs 200 as transport fare to the container driver. Him, along with the rest of the passengers, are currently kept at a quarantine facility at Ayurved Hospital in Birgunj, said Gautam.
The Ayurved Hospital has set up a 50-bed quarantine facility with a medical team of security personnel from Nepal Army and Nepal Police. According to Lalit Basnet, assistant chief district officer, the medical team is conducting general medical tests of the 52 passengers. “If there are no suspicious cases, we will hand them over to their families. For now, we are awaiting their health reports,” said Basnet.
The government has prohibited all public movement Tuesday onwards, except to seek medical attention or purchase essential goods. A meeting of the high-level committee for the prevention and control of Covid-19, led by Deputy Prime Minister Ishwar Pokhrel, took the decision on Monday evening, hours after a second coronavirus case was confirmed in the country. The government has also decided to book anyone defying the government order under the Infectious Disease Control Act. According to the Act, violators are liable for a jail term of a month or a Rs100 fine, or both.As per the Nepal Gazette, published on October 14 last year, the government enlisted 19 services as “essential”. These essential services include telephone; transportation; civil aviation; airport; mint or governmental press; defence affairs relating to arms, ammunition or production of any military goods; communication; internal security; drinking water; residence of tourists; petroleum products; health; medicines; bank; insurance; and electricity.