After hundreds gathered for a religious festival procession in a village of Kalol taluka in Gandhinagar on Friday afternoon, thereby defying all norms of social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic, as many as 21 persons were booked.
According to police, a “Shobha Yatra” procession of Lord Goga Maharaj was carried out from Paliyad village in Kalol around 11 am on Friday, where an estimated over 500 persons belonging to Paliyad village had participated. The devotees, including men, women and children, walked in huge clusters from Paliyad village’s entry gate to a nearby farmhouse situated two kilometres away.
Police officials said that no permission was sought from the local Kalol taluka police station before organising the procession and religious festival.
The main accused has been identified as Vijay Patel, a resident of Paliyad village, who organised the festival of Lord Goga Maharaj. Apparently, police got to know about the procession after its visuals were flashed in local TV news channels.
“The main accused owns a farmhouse situated two kilometres from the village and he had held a “Sthapna” (establishing ceremony) of Lord Goga Maharaj’s idol in his farmland, where the procession would start from the village and end at his farmhouse. We have booked him and 20 others, mainly organisers, for defying standard social distancing norms and organising a religious ceremony without police permission. All participants of the procession were from Paliyad village,” said VV Trivedi, police inspector, Kalol taluka police station.
According to the FIR lodged, Patel and 20 others were booked under IPC sections 269 (Negligent act likely to spread infection of disease) and 188 (Disobedience to order given by public servant), along with sections of the Disaster Management Act, the Epidemic Diseases Act and the Gujarat Epidemic Diseases Regulations Act, 2020. None of the accused have been held yet, police said.
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