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Make those not wearing masks serve at Covid centres: Gujarat HC

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Expressing concern and dissatisfaction over the violating the Covid-19 guidelines in Gujarat, the High Court on Wednesday ordered the state government to issue a notification to make those not wearing face masks to perform community services at Covid care centres for five to 15 days.

The High Court also expressed “shock” over the way BJP legislator Kanti Gamit allegedly flouted all Covid-19 protocols and guidelines at a family function. The court also asked what the state government was doing about the issue.

A video clip had gone viral on the social media, wherein over 6,000 persons had gathered at his grandson’s engagement ceremony, most of them without masks and violating all Covid-19 guidelines.

 

“This is shocking and unfortunate. What was the police doing when such a large gathering occurred? We are not at all satisfied with the way the government has handled the situation. Incidents like this make all your efforts till now meaningless.”

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A bench of Chief Justice Vikramnath and Justice JB Pardiwala, during a suo motu hearing on coronavirus and lockdown situation, on which over 50 PILs have been filed, ordered the Gujarat government to issue the notification to ensure social service by face mask norm violators at Covid care centres apart from fine of Rs 1,000.

The HC had last week suggested to the government that as the people were not heeding to the warning of fines, there was a need to make them serve at Covid care centres for eight to 10 days in addition to levy of fines so that they understood the gravity of the pandemic.

Advocate General Kamal Trivedi, appearing for the Gujarat government on Tuesday, had said that the state was unable to act on the HC suggestion and sought another week’s time to decide on the issue.

But the HC refused to give more time and gave the order on Wednesday.

According to the High Court’s suggestion, persons not wearing masks in public shall be asked to perform community services at Covid care centres in the state for 5 to 15 days, at least 4 to 6 hours daily.

The community service shall be of non-medical nature like cleaning, housekeeping, help in cooking and serving food, data preparation etc.

 

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Woman, three children die in fire in UP village

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Banda, Dec 26 : Three children and their mother were burnt to death in a fire which spread from a bonfire in Dubey Purva Mau village in Banda district of Uttar Pradesh.

Additional Superintendent of Police, Mahendra Pratap Chauhan, said, “Kallu, a resident of Dubey Purva village in Marka police station area in Banda district is a daily wager from Jaipur, Rajasthan. He lived there along with his wife and three children. The sparks emanating from the bonfire lit due to the cold gutted the entire house. Possible other reasons behind the fire are also being probed.”

According to the locals, the villagers raised an alarm when they saw the flames engulfing Kallu’s house. By the time they were able to break open the door, the entire house had turned into rubble. There was only burnt debris and smoke everywhere. On receiving information, the police arrived and the fire brigade too reached the site.

Villagers said the mother and her three children were burnt to death in the fire in the kuccha house which began from a bonfire. The police and the fire brigade personnel put out the fire and removed the bodies from the rubble.

The Sub-Divisional Magistrate said prima facie the cause of the fire appears to be the sparks from the bonfire. But only an investigation can confirm the actual reason.

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