After HC reprimand, ex-Guj minister held for violating Covid-19 norms
Former Gujarat minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kanti Gamit was arrested on Wednesday for violation of Covid-19 guidelines, a day after a video showing an estimated 6,000 people at an engagement ceremony of his grand-daughter went viral.
The arrest happened hours after the Gujarat high court pulled up the BJP led state government over shoddy enforcement of rules pertaining to wearing of masks and maintaining social distancing and expressed its surprise that the former MLA could invite 2,000 people with the authorities turning a blind eye to it.
This is the first such tough action against a politician of the ruling BJP in Gujarat, which came after a strong reprimand by the high court. Earlier too, in the wake of political rallies by the BJP and the Congress in the run up to the recent assembly by-elections, the court had observed that the politicians in the state should behave responsibly to send the right message to the people.
In this case, the event was organised by Kanti Gamit on November 30 at Doswada village in Tapi district. The video showed hundreds of people dancing, throwing all Covid-19 guidelines to the winds. He was arrested under Section 308 of the Indian Penal Code.
He admitted it was a mistake to allow such a large gathering at the function. “I apologise for the mistake. We had organised Tulsi Vivah and my granddaughter’s engagement ceremony together but didn’t invite anyone personally. We’d prepared food for 2,000 people and also organised dance. Someone made the video & it went viral,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
Gujarat has more than 2.11 lakh positive cases and the death toll has crossed 4,000. Four cities of Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Rajkot are under an indefinite night curfew.
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