Notice issues over crowd surge at Goa CM’s event

The North Goa District Administration has issued a show cause notice to officials of a government corporation for violation of Section 144 CrPC, after a large crowd assembled during a bridge inauguration ceremony at Sanquelim, during which Chief Minister Pramod Sawant was also present.

“You are hereby ordered to show cause within 48 hours from the receipt of this notice as to why legal proceedings under section 188 of IPC should not be initiated against you for knowingly disobeying a duly promulgated order under section 144 CrPC by the undersigned, failing which will cause to initiate appropriate legal proceeding under law,” the show cause notice issued by North Goa District Collector Ajit Roy, late Wednesday, said.

The notice comes at a time when Sawant has repeatedly exhorted people to not gather in large numbers in wake of the ongoing Covid-19 surge.

The notice was issued after an enquiry revealed that no permission was sought for the inauguration by the Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation from the district administration for the bridge inauguration ceremony.

“It is stated that Covid safety norms were violated by GSIDC officials while commissioning the said project. This amounts to wilful disobedience of the order and is likely to pose a grave risk to the public health and safety,” the notice issued by the North Goa Collector also said.

More than a 100 persons had assembled for the bridge inauguration ceremony chaired by Sawant.

On Wednesday, the Congress party had filed a complaint with the officials of the Bicholim police station also seeking registration of an FIR against Sawant and other government officials for violation of Section 144 CrPC, which has been imposed in order to deter assembly of crowds amid the Covid surge.

Sawant, on Wednesday, ordered a four-day lockdown from Thursday night to Monday morning in a bid to stem the tide of unprecedented infections in the state.

The state currently has 18,829 active cases, while 1,110 persons have died from Covid-19, since the outbreak of the pandemic.