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Rajasthan: Poor implementation of Sec 144 even as COVID-19 cases rise

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At a time when the COVID-19 cases in the country are rising at a rapid rate, the Rajasthan government on Saturday imposed Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code in 11 districts to contain the spread of the virus. While the decision has been taken with the right intent, it seems the decision has been poorly implemented by the administration.

Notably, Section 144 prohibits the gathering of five or more people at a place. The prohibition on gatherings will remain in force in 11 worst-affected districts due to the coronavirus pandemic till October 31. However, it was a Sunday as usual with both the people and the administration caring the least that Section 144 was in effect.

The eleven districts in which the prohibition on gathering has been declared include Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kota, Ajmer, Alwar, Bhilwara, Bikaner, Udaipur Sikar, Pali and Nagaur.

No one cared about Section 144 on Sunday

Not just routine gatherings, but the administration put also enforced a ban on holding social and religious events. But this decision of the state government taken late on Saturday night was poorly implemented because of Sunday holiday.

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In the majority of the districts, the late-night orders could not be implemented as the meeting of the officials could not be organised.

Even in the state capital Jaipur, the order was not followed by many. Even the parks were full of visitors on Sunday morning. No arrests have been reported from any of the 11 districts for violation of Section 144.

The state government, however, made changes in the orders. It allows 50 guests in case of marriages and 20 persons in case of funerals.

1.13 lakh COVID-19 cases in Rajasthan

The number of COVID-19 cases in the state has surpassed 1.13 lakh and in the past seven days, over 10,000 fresh cases of the virus have been reported.

The BJP has demanded a compulsory Saturday and Sunday lockdown in the entire state. The saffron party has also demanded a fortnight-long lockdown for areas with maximum COVID-19 cases.

A home department official said that the district collectors have been asked to monitor the new order in the 11 districts and report the development to the state headquarters.

 

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