While many members were wearing face mask, the six-feet social distancing norm was missing(HT PHOTO)
While many members were wearing face mask, the six-feet social distancing norm was missing(HT PHOTO)

Social distancing norms flouted during protests held in Pune

Members of various trade unions, on Thursday, held protests against recently approved labour and farm laws
By Jigar Hindocha | Hindustan Times, Pune
PUBLISHED ON NOV 28, 2020 04:55 PM IST

Protests are being held in various parts of the city flouting safety guidelines issued by the civic administration in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Members of various trade unions, on Thursday, held protests against recently approved labour and farm laws. While many members were wearing face mask, the six-feet social distancing norm was missing as at least 2,500-3,000 people created a human chain at Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar chowk, Pimpri.

“A huge crowd was gathered during the protest and people were seen flouting social distancing norm,” said Mohammed Riyaz, autorickshaw driver.

A case has been registered at Pimpri police station, on Friday, against union leaders and workers who held protest where safety norms were flouted.

Trade union leaders Kailash Kadam, Irfan Sayyed and social activist Maruti Bhapkar, Sanjeevan Kamble, Sandip Bhegde, Keshav Gholwe, Kishore Dokle, Dilip Pawar, Anil Madhavrao Roham, Ajit Abhyankar were booked under the Section 188 of Indian Penal Code (IPC), 269, Maharashtra Police Act, Epidemic Diseases Act, National Disaster Act.

“At least 2,500-3000 people had gathered and created a human chain to protest against the farm laws. Protesters flouted social distancing norms,” said an official from Pimpri police station on condition of anonymity.

“Since it was a nationwide strike many people had gathered during the protest. Most of the safety norms were followed,” said Maruti Bhapkar, social activist.

Similar scene was observed during a protest held by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) against inflated power bills. Party workers staged protest near Faraskhana police station. Most workers, with mask on faces, were sitting close to each other defying social distancing norm.

“The rules are same for all. And those who conduct rallies are given instructions to follow Covid-19 safety precautions. Social distance norms should be strictly followed by all,” said Bachchan Singh, deputy commissioner of police (crime branch) Pune.

When contacted district collector Rajesh Deshmukh about the issue, he said he is busy with the preparation as Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be visiting the city on Saturday.

Pune district reported 978 positive cases and nine deaths on Thursday due to Covid-19, as per the state health department. The number takes the progressive positive count to 349,792. Of these total cases, 323,559 have recovered, 7,346 have been declared dead and 18,887 are active cases.

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