6-month-old baby, 3-year-old child booked in Uttarakhand for not following Covid-19 quarantine
A six-month-old baby and a three-year-old child were among more than 40 people booked in a village in Uttarakhand’s Uttarkashi district for ‘not following home quarantine and endangering the life of others.’
As soon as the incident came to light, villagers raised objection following which the official, on whose report they were booked, was suspended by the district magistrate and a probe was ordered, said officials.
The suspended official identified as Girish Singh Rana, an assistant engineer in irrigation department, was deployed as Covid-19 magistrate by district magistrate (DM) Ashish Chauhan in Chinyalisaur area to ensure home quarantine of the people who return to the district, said officials.
Chauhan said the incident happened on April 10 when a family comprising the two children returned to their village from Haryana along with 47 others and were asked to remain in home quarantine as a precautionary measure.
“However, it was found that they didn’t follow the home quarantine following which action was directed against them. Covid-19 magistrate concerned Rana was asked to prepare a report of the violators for necessary action,” Chauhan said.
Chauhan said Rana inquired about the incident over the phone while making the report on the violators and didn’t visit the villages as per norms. “He didn’t inquire about the age of the violators due to which the names of these two children also came up in the list,” he said.
The local revenue police officer booked the 47 people, including the two children, for violating home quarantine and endangering lives of others while four others were booked by regular police for the same offence.
Soon, the district administration came to know about it and ordered an inquiry into the incident.
“During the inquiry, when the revenue police officer asked Rana about it, he confessed that he had submitted his report after collecting details over phone only and without any ground visit. Considering it as a serious dereliction of duty, I immediately suspended him on April 22 apart from ordering a probe into it,” said Chauhan.
Another official privy to the development said on the condition of anonymity, “As the cases against all the 47 people including the two children and their parents were based on that bogus report, the case would be quashed soon.”
The district administration has said about 5700 people returned to Uttarkashi during the coronavirus pandemic. They said 2900 of them have completed their surveillance period after home quarantine, 2400 are still under surveillance and about 250 are still under home quarantine.