The Uttar Pradesh government is set to promulgate an ordinance to amend the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, to ensure that those involved in attacks on frontline workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic face stiff penalties, including a jail term of up to seven years and Rs 5 lakh as fine.
Citing the attack on health workers and police in Kanpur and Moradabad, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday said, “Attacks on our corona warriors are a serious crime which cannot go unpunished as these warriors are working for the society by putting their lives at risk.”
“That is why we have moved forward to amend Epidemic Diseases Act…,” he said.
Speaking to The Indian Express, state Law Minister Brijesh Pathak said that after the Centre amended the Act, each state was supposed to amend rules concerning it. “Uttar Pradesh has decided to implement all provisions, like punishment from six months to seven years and fine imposed in the Central Act. We have decided to bring a fresh ordinance, making the punishment more strict.”
While the new ordinance will be called Uttar Pradesh Epidemic Disease Control Ordinance, 2020, sources said it would include punishment for offences like spitting, running from quarantine facilities and violating restrictions.
The CM said medical teams, security personnel or even those engaged in doorstep delivery, are helping people of the state by putting their lives at risk and just a handful of people cannot be allowed to create unrest. He said that he has asked police officers not to hesitate in taking action.
“Such attacks are a direct challenge to the law and order system, and in no situation, they can be accepted. I had said it earlier too and will say it again that in Uttar Pradesh, all the health workers, security personnel, all the sanitation workers, and even social organisations are working to break the chain of coronavirus… Attacking them is an unpardonable crime,” he said, adding that Gangster Act and National Security Act would also be invoked against those involved in such attacks.
Four held for attack on police team in Kanpur
Lucknow: Minutes after health workers took away nine family members of a person, who had tested positive for coronavirus, to put them in quarantine, local residents Wednesday allegedly attacked a police team deployed at the spot and threw stones in Jugiyana locality of Kanpur.
Police said those who targeted the police personnel demanded that health workers should test the patient’s family members at the residence and take away only those who test positive for coronavirus.
Fifty area residents have been booked in a case filed at the local police station. —ENS
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