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Former Uttarakhand chief minister detained over violating Covid-19 guidelines

Former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat was arrested for leading a bullock cart rally on independence day in which many Covid-19 guidelines were violated.

Migrant workers, who returned to Delhi from their native state, wait for their rapid antigen test report, at a bus terminal, amidst the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in New Delhi, India, August 17, 2020. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

A case has been filed against former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat, three Congress legislators, and 150 others who took part in a bullock cart rally from Dhandera to Landhaura near Roorkee on Independence Day. The event caused congestion of main roads - especially the NH-58 that links Uttarakhand to Delhi and also violated Covid-19 social distancing protocol.

The former chief minister has been harshly criticized over leading an event which could put the lives of many people at risk. Some observers accused him of trying to grab the media's attention.

Senior Superintendent of Police Senthil Avudai Krishna Raj said that the rally caused so many people to gather that it violated social distance norms and guidelines.

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Violators have been arrested under section 188 (disobedience to order promulgated by public servant) and section 150 (unlawful assembly) of the Indian Penal Code, as well as in violation of the disaster management act.

In Dehradun, BJP state president Bansidhar Bhagat took a broadside at the former chief minister accusing him of “risking the lives of people just to grab the attention of the media”.


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