A case has been registered against a Maharashtra BJP MLA for allegedly violating the nationwide lockdown imposed last month to check the spread of coronavirus, which has infected over 4,000 people in the country. The legislator, Dadarao Keche, had on Sunday distributed free ration to people at his Wardha house.
"We lodged an offence after we received a notice from the district administration. We have initiated our inquiry and started recording statements of witnesses," a local police officer was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
The BJP MLA from Arvi in Wardha district had reportedly said he would distribute free ration to the poor people on Sunday, 9 am, following which hundreds gathered at his residence, violating the government ban on large assemblies.
After complaints from local residents, the district administration had issued direction to disperse the crowd. Officials said the MLA had not taken permission from the administration.
Maharashtra is among the worst-hit states in the country. On Monday, it recorded 120 coronavirus cases, taking the total to 868, including 52 deaths. The number of deaths across the country reached 111 today.
Globally, more than 1.277 million have contracted the virus, including 70,009 deaths. The pandemic has killed more than 50,000 people in Europe, including 15,877 in Italy, 13,055 in Spain, 8,078 in France and 4,934 in Britain, news agency AFP reported.
Last month Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced a three-week nationwide lockdown to stem the rising number of COVID-19 cases in India. He said "social distancing" was the only option against the highly contagious virus.
In the first week of the lockdown, lakhs of migrant workers - who lost their jobs and were low on money and supplies - left metropolitan cities for their hometowns across the country, most on foot. The exodus had put at risk the centre's plan to contain the virus.
The central government later ordered the states to provide food and shelter to the poor, and asked them to completely seal their borders to enforce the lockdown.
With inputs from PTI