A civic officer in Madhya Pradesh's Indore was suspended on Friday for organising a party to celebrate his marriage anniversary in the district-a red zone-without permission. Indore is among the worst-hit districts in the country in terms of the number of coronavirus positive cases. At least 2,868 cases of the highly contagious disease and 270 deaths have been reported from Madhya Pradesh.
Zonal officer Chetan Patil was suspended after his guests were seen ignoring physical distancing norms in a video that was shared widely on the social media. The video, shared as that of the gathering organised at an assembly hall in Vijay Nagar locality, shows people singing and dancing without following any Covid-19 safety norms.
The suspension was ordered by Commissioner of the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) Pratibha Pal based on the video of the party.
An official said the municipal commissioner had issued a show-cause notice to Patil but she did not find his reply satisfactory and launched a departmental inquiry.
Though the number of people who attended the gathering could not be ascertained, it must be noted that all non-essential activities, including all social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious functions, other gatherings and large congregations, are banned in red zones and containment areas.
Restriction on gatherings is among the list of guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs for Phase 4 of the nationwide lockdown necessitated to check the spread of the coronavirus disease, which has claimed the lives of at least 3,500 people and infected 1.18 lakh people in India.
The incident comes days after thousands of people attended the funeral of a renowned spiritual leader in Madhya Pradesh's Katni. Among those who attended were politicians from Congress, BJP and celebrities including actor Ashutosh Rana. The district administration, however, said there was no violation of the lockdown protocol.