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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Delhi Police books Afghan solidarity committee head Ahmad Zia Ghani for violating Covid-19 norms

Ahmad Zia Ghani and other Afghan refugees did not wear masks and observe social distancing during their protest outside the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Vasant Vihar, said the police.

Written by Mahender Singh Manral | New Delhi |
Updated: September 8, 2021 9:49:55 am
Afghan families protesting outside the UNHRC office at Vasant Vihar. (Express Photo by Abhinav Saha)

Delhi Police has registered an FIR against Ahmad Zia Ghani, head of the Afghan solidarity committee, and other Afghan refugees for allegedly not wearing masks and violating Covid-related guidelines during their protest outside the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Vasant Vihar. An FIR was registered against them at Vasant Vihar police station, but no arrest has been made yet.

On August 31, the complaint was lodged by sub-inspector Deepak Kumar Tanwar. “Ghani was holding a protest outside the UNHCR office. Today, I along with other personnel were deployed for law and order duty at the UNHCR office. Around 300 Afghan refugees have gathered and most of them were not wearing masks, not maintaining social distance. Ghani, who is the organiser of the protest was also not wearing a mask and also not maintaining social distance,” Tanwar said in his complaint.

Tanwar alleged that Ghani was protesting without taking any permission. “We have also received similar complaints from the UNHCR and the resident welfare association (RWA) that protestors were not wearing masks and they have violated the norms. Ghani and other Afghan refugees had violated the rules of DDMA. They had committed the offence under IPC Section 188,” he said.

DCP (south-west district) Ingit Partap Singh said, “We have registered an FIR against Ghani for violating Covid guidelines and not maintaining social distancing.”

After the Taliban took over the war-torn nation in Afghanistan, a large number of Afghan refugees in India vociferously protested in front of the UNHCR office, demanding the release of “support letters” from the UN agency to migrate to other countries for better opportunities. The protest was organised by Afghan Solidarity Committee (ASC) and protesters came from Lajpat Nagar, Bhogal, Noida, Greater Noida, Faridabad, among other places. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is a global organisation dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights, and building a better future for refugees.

More than 2.8 lakh mask-wearing violations in four months

Meanwhile, the Delhi Police has issued challans to more than 2.8 lakh people in the last four months for not wearing masks in public places. The police said they have been prosecuting people since April 19 this year, when the second wave of covid-19 hit the national capital.

Violators may have to pay fines up to Rs 2,000. Individuals or groups violating social distancing norms in markets and commercial areas were also caught and fined.

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