Jamshedpur Bandh on Saturday against Rs 1 lakh fine, 2-year jail order for not wearing mask
The business community in Jamshedpur is upset with the Jharkhand government’s approval for hefty fine and jail term for violation of Covid 19 safety norms.Updated: Jul 24, 2020 19:01 IST
A day long shutdown has been announced in Jharkhand’s industrial city of Jamshedpur on Saturday to protest state government’s ordinance mandating Rs 1 lakh fine and 2-year jail term for violation of Covid-19 safety protocols like wearing masks and social distancing etc.
Announcing this, business and trade organizations here on Friday said that all the markets would henceforth shut down voluntarily by 6 pm from Saturday onwards.
The trade body said they have been in support of Covid-19 safety measures and also backed its strict enforcement but the provision for Rs 1 lakh fine and 2 year jail term is impractical.
“But this new order by the state government-- Rs 1 lakh fine and 2-year jail term-- is too much and impractical. It will lead to blackmailing and corruption. Hence, we have called for a Jamshedpur bandh on Saturday in opposition to this order and decided to close down all shops and markets by 6 pm from tomorrow onwards,” Ashok Bhalotia, Singhbhum Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) president, said here today.
Bhalotia has also written to chief minister (CM) Hemant Soren to reconsider the order he described as ‘arbitrary and anti-common people’. The Soren cabinet had passed the Jharkhand State Epidemic Diseases Ordinance-2020 (JSEDO-2020) on Wednesday, mandating Rs 1 lakh fine and 2-year jail term for not wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and violation of other such Covid-19 protocols.
It was also decided that the business, industry and trading community would wear black badges in protest. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) mahanagar president Gunjan Yadav also announced party’s moral support to the Jamshedpur bandh tomorrow.
“This is a black law, a Tuglaqui farman. BJP is extending full support to the Jamshedpur bandh tomorrow by business and industry organizations against this order. The government was sleeping when women in quarantine got pregnant despite being in custody. The government should distribute masks, sanitizers to the residents, provide Covid-19 beds, increase tests, expedite test reports and treatment facilities. Instead, it is burdening already poor, unemployed and distressed people with Rs 1 lakh fine and jail threat,” said Gunjan.
Former CM Babaulal Marandi has also written to the Soren requesting him to reconsider this order while party state spokesperson Kunal Sarangi wondered if the government would levy similar fine and jail-term on its own ministers who he claimed were flouting lockdown rules and Covid-19 safety protocols with impunity.
“Where was the government when its own minister and coalition leaders attended Lalu Parasad’s meeting in RIMS while the latter was in judicial custody! This order will facilitate extortion, bribe culture at lower administrative and police levels. Government should focus on augmenting health infrastructure, providing citizens with proper medical care, hospitals, bed, ambulances and speedy tests and results,” said Sarangi.