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Gujarat: FIR against organiser for holding marathon violating Covid norms

BJP MP from Junagadh Rajesh Chudasama, Veraval municipality president Piyush Fofandi and Mansinh Parmar, president Gir Somnath district unit of the BJP, were among the dignitaries who flagged off the marathon.

Assam jawan killedIn the complaint filed against the organiser, sub-inspector (PSI) BN Modhwadia of Veraval town police station, stated that he saw a few participants at Tower Chowk around 8 am during patrolling duty.

Organiser of a marathon was booked in Veraval town of Gir Somnath on Sunday after the event was held violating Covid-10 restrictions imposed by the state government.

According to police, the organiser Kalpesh Shah is said to be a funcationary of Bharat Vikas Parishad (BVP). Hundreds of people assembled at Chowpatty, the sandy beach on the sea cost in Veraval town, to take part in the marathon, which was organised by the BVP, allegedly not following social distancing norms or wearing masks.

BJP MP from Junagadh Rajesh Chudasama, Veraval municipality president Piyush Fofandi and Mansinh Parmar, president Gir Somnath district unit of the BJP, were among the dignitaries who flagged off the marathon.

The event came a day after Minister of State for Transport, Arvind Raiyani, who is the minister in charge of Gir Somnath, reviewed the district administration’s Covid preparedness.

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In the complaint filed against the organiser, sub-inspector (PSI) BN Modhwadia of Veraval town police station, stated that he saw a few participants at Tower Chowk around 8 am during patrolling duty.

“On making enquiries, we gathered that members of BVP had organised a marathon at Chowpatty and we went there and found around 500 participants and organisers. They did not have face masks and social distancing norms were also being violated,” the FIR quoted Modhwadia as having stated.

The PSI said that police distributed masks and asked the participants to leave the place. Based on Modhwadia’s complaint, Veraval town booked Shah under IPC sections 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) 270 (Any malignant act which is, and which the accused knows or has reason to believe to be, likely to spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life) as well as under the Epidemic Disease Act and Disaster Management Act.

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On Friday, the state government issued orders restricting gathering of more than 400 people in view of a spike in the number of daily cases of Covid-19.

Rahul Tripathi, superintendent of police of Gir Somnath, said that the organisers were not given permission for the event.

When asked why only Shah had been named in the FIR while leaving out the VIPs who flagged off the race, Tripathi said, “The event organiser organised the event (therefore) culpability is his. More than 400 people participated. We cannot fix criminal liability on all of them because the criminal liability lies with the organiser.”

Shah was not available for a comment.

First published on: 09-01-2022 at 22:46 IST
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