The Tripura Newspaper Society (TNS), apex body of newspaper owners and editors, has decided to suspend publication of newspapers till March 31 next as hawkers announced to stop distribution from March 26 in the capital city and distribution in other towns were disrupted from March 24 due to stoppage of vehicle movement.

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However, a few newspaper owners decided to continue e-paper publication to bring out the news to the readers.

TNS President Subal Kumar Dey stated that the publication was continued till March 25 despite the distribution in outside the city was suspended. Since hawkers decided not to distribute, the publication has no value.

“If we cannot reach the newspaper to people, no need to publish,” Dey added.

The hawkers union alleged that the hawkers are unwilling to distributed papers because of ill-treatment by subscribers in the houses.

“Many people did not open the gate and other abused us stating that through newspaper we are distributing coronavirus and warned to hand over us to police if go tomorrow,” they alleged.

After getting the feedback of such behaviour from the well-educated subscribers to the hawkers and large scale unwillingness to buy newspapers due to COVID-19 threat, the association has no other option left but to take the decision to stop newspaper distribution at least till up to March 31 next and later on next decision would be taken, said President Tripura Hawkers’ Union Dipak Baraj.

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However, health officials on March 25 reiterated that there is no positive case of coronavirus in Tripura but as many as 11 persons were identified as high-risk individuals following their proximity with a positive person. Apart from that the spread of disease in Bangladesh and detection of a Europe returnee as positive in Mizoram the measures have been intensified further.

Meanwhile, the police lathi charged in several markets and commercial areas of the city to disperse the mob. Even after imposition of curfew last evening, a section of people in the city was found casual to comply with the order and roaming around and unnecessarily gathering on the roads and shops, stated SDM (Sadar) Asim Saha.

“Police had to go for action to implement the order and there is no need of the people to come out when Prime Minister in folded hand requested to observe total lockdown in the country for our safety. There is no dearth of any essential items and household goods but people in some cases found go for panic buying where the administration has to act,” Saha added.

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