Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], April 7 (ANI): With the surge in the COVID-19 cases in the state, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday ordered a total ban on political gatherings till April 30. Violators, including political leaders, will be booked under the DMA and Epidemics Act, the state government said.
Singh also announced the extension of the statewide night curfew from 9 pm to 5 am, which was earlier imposed in 12 districts only, now has been extended to the entire state.
According to a press release, the chief minister also reduced the number of attendees at funeral/cremations/weddings to 50 people indoors and 100 outdoors. Wearing of masks has been made mandatory for all government employees while in office.
These restrictions, coupled with the ones imposed earlier, which include the closure of schools and educational institutions, shall remain effective till April 30. However, there was some respite for shop owners in Malls, as the Chief Minister allowed entry of 10 people per shop at any given time, as against the earlier order of not allowing more than 100 people in a mall at one time. This would imply that 200 people will be allowed in a Mall with 20 shops at any given time.
Expressing surprise at the behaviour of certain political leaders, including Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal, and SAD's Sukhbir Badal, who had been attending political rallies allegedly without following safety protocols, the chief minister said such irresponsible conduct does not behove them.
"How do you expect people to be serious about the spread of the disease if senior political leaders behave like this," he said adding that his government would need to be tough to tackle such violations and political leaders would also need to be booked.
He ordered the police and the district administrations to register cases against the political leaders, organizers, and participants of political gatherings under the DMA and Epidemics Act, besides booking the owners of the tent houses, who provide the infrastructure for such gatherings. He said even the venue owners, who would provide space for such events, will not be spared and they too would be booked and their venues sealed for three months.
The Chief Minister also directed Punjab DGP, Dinkar Gupta, to ensure strict implementation of the night curfew. (ANI)