Jalandhar, July 8
With the message of resilience, resolve and discipline to defeat the coronavirus and save Punjab, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, a month ago launched ‘Mission Fateh’. A large number of awareness drives were routinely carried out under the initiative by several political leaders, officials of the Municipal Corporations and district administrations, schools and colleges urging people to remain vigilant and follow social-distancing norms.
Moreover, to ensure that people do not violate the directives of the Punjab Government and follow all norms, including wearing masks and maintaining social distancing, the Jalandhar Commissionerate on a daily basis have been issuing challans on willful defaulters.
Two cases were registered at Choti Baradari here and one at Rama Mandi police station on Tuesday against those who failed to maintain social distancing during protests. Even today, a case was registered against an organisation for the same reason. Law is the same for everyone and is being applied in the same manner to all, — Arun Saini, DCP, Headquarters
The district police till July 7 have issued 14,742 challans for not wearing masks and collected a fine worth Rs67.16 lakh from violators. Besides, a fine worth Rs2, 88,000 has been imposed on 144 people for violating social-distancing norms.
But the question arises whether the ‘Mission Fateh’ is just for the common public? Are elected representatives, who seem to be the brand ambassadors of the programme, barred from following any of its directives? Why no check on the violations of social distancing during mask-distribution drives, political meets, protests, public work gatherings and among other such events?
Recently, SAD leaders at Football Chowk held a protest against their alliance partner at the Centre and the Congress for increasing fuel prices, but social distancing was nowhere to be seen. Likewise, Congress leaders a few days ago held a protest against the Modi-led-BJP government outside the DC office for hiking fuel prices and on June 26 gathered at the War Memorial to pay tributes to the martyrs of Galwan Valley, but were found blatantly flouting social-distancing norms.
Moreover, a huge protest was organised on Ladowali Road near the DC office by the activists of ‘Anti-Fascist Attacks Front’ and the road was completely jam-packed. Protesters in large numbers without giving a thought about social distancing were protesting against the ill-policies of the state and Central governments.
Call it fear of challans or scare of Covid-19, people, especially shopkeepers, are trying their best to ensure social distancing at their places. But if you visit government offices, social distancing is nowhere to be seen. Gaurav Arora, owner of a cosmetics shop
Maintaining social distancing in a country like India is really tough. You go to a market and you’ll hardly see anyone maintaining distance. The CM, during his #AskCaptain programme, has been asking people to follow all norms, but his own party workers seem unaware of the dangers of Covid-19. Harbans Lal, a general store owner at Saidan Gate
Yes, we failed to follow social distancing norms during some party meets and other events. But, we will make sure this doesn’t happen again and we appeal to our party workers as well as the public to be more cautious and follow all guidelines. Jagdish Raja, Mayor
We try our best to maintain social distancing during awareness drives, political or non-political meets, but sometimes a lot of people join us and it becomes difficult to manage them. However, it’s been over three months since we are dealing with Covid-19, so people, including leaders, should understand the importance of wearing masks and physical distancing by now. Santokh Chaudhary, MP
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