Police have filed offences against at least 30 people, including a former councillor Usman Patel, in Indore for taking out processions on the occasion of Muharram, violating of COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the local administration.
Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Harinarayanachari Mishra said, "Religious processions with three tazias were taken out on Sunday on Muharram in the Khajrana area." Four separate FIRs were registered under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 269 (any unlawful and negligent act which is likely to spread infection of any disease dangerous to life) and other related provisions in connection of these processions, he said.
Of the 30 people who have been booked and identified so far, one is a former councillor, the DIG said. He said Khajrana police station in-charge Santosh Singh Yadav was removed from field posting and sent to police line for alleged dereliction of duty.
District Collector Manish Singh said, "It was already decided in a meeting of the peace committee that tazia processions will not be taken out in public on Muharram due to the COVID-19 outbreak." Singh said he has requested the DIG to initiate the legal process to invoke the National Security Act (NSA) in the matter and added a show-cause notice is being issued to the Khajrana Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM).
Mayor Malini Gaud has also written to state Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan for action against senior officials and those arrested, including the former corporator, over the incident.
Meanwhile, the BJP leaders were seen being silent when a Ganesha pandal was set up by party MLA Ramesh Mendola in assembly constituency area, despite Covid-19 norms.
Congress spokesperson Aminul Khan said that action could be taken against those who took put Tazia procession without permission but also demanded action against Mendola for setting up a Ganesha pandal.
(With inputs from PTI)