30 Youth Congress activists flout Covid-19 guidelines, hold cycle rally in Amritsar
Day after Punjab govt banned public gatherings, Congress activists gather to protest fuel price hike without administration’s permission; Akali activists had been booked last week for similar protest, will Congress act against own now for violating norms?Updated: Jul 14, 2020 12:19 IST
Amritsar: A day after the Capt Amarinder Singh-led Congress government banned public gatherings in Punjab to check the spike in Covid-19 cases in the state, activists of his party’s youth wing took out a bicycle rally in Amritsar on Tuesday to protest the fuel price hike by the central government.
Flouting the latest government guidelines, the cycle rally was organised by Amritsar South Youth Congress president Simranjit Singh Rajput. Unit vice-president Rajive Chhabra and Amritsar YC secretary Vivan Khurana, the son of District Congress Committee (urban) chief Jatinder Sonia also took part in the rally, which was taken out from Sultanwind Road to Sakattari Bagh.
Before the start of the rally, 30 party activists gathered at the site, ignoring social-distancing norms.
They did not have permission from the district administration to hold the rally.
“We had taken the approval from our party leader Barinder Dhillon. But no permission was taken from the administration. We know that the chief minister issued new guidelines on Monday but our programme was planned. We took care of social distancing. Only 20 to 22 cycles were used for the rally,” Chhabra claimed.
A child was also brought to the rally and made to wear a banner, criticising the fuel price hike by the BJP-led central government.
The Amritsar (rural) police had booked 1,000 workers of the opposition Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) for holding protests on the same issue last week. Four former Akali legislators were among those booked for flouting social distancing norms and holding the protest without permission.
WILL FIR BE REGISTERED AGAINST VIOLATORS?
On Monday, the chief minister made first information reports (FIRs) mandatory against those holding public gatherings.
A notification issued by the government said joint teams of police and civil administration should strictly enforce the restrictions on public gatherings, restricted to five people under Section 144 of the CrPC in all districts.
Deputy commissioner of police (DCP), law and order, Jagmohan Singh said he was not aware about the rally. “Gathering of more than five people is banned. I will ask the station house officer (SHO) concerned to send the report in this regard. Action will be taken as per the law if the guidelines were flouted.”