Varun Gandhi demands action against UP officials seen leading procession
As the entire nation observed a curfew on Sunday, two officials in Uttar Pradesh sparked controversy after they were seen leading a procession in a viral video. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Varun Gandhi on Monday demanded action against the two officials, identified as District Magistrate Vaibhav Srivastava and Superintendent of Police Abhishek Dixit in UP's Pilibhit. Here are more details.
'Conduct of Pilibhit SP, DM is callous and irresponsible'
Gandhi, who represents the Pilibhit constituency in the Lok Sabha, tweeted on Monday, "While many people, including myself, are in self-quarantine and India battles COVID-19 on a war footing, the conduct of the SP and DM of Pilibhit is callous and irresponsible." He added, "Times like these need mature conduct, like the PM advised. I urge action against those who violated the #JantaCurfew"
You can view Gandhi's tweet here
Modi had asked people to clap hands from their homes
In the wake of an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called a nationwide curfew on Sunday. He also urged people to clap their hands or bang plates from their balconies at 5 pm to show respect to the healthcare workers at the frontlines of the outbreak. However, some people stepped out on streets, banging plates, even bursting crackers.
Video showing Pilibhit DM, SP leading procession went viral
In UP's Pilibhit DM Srivastava and SP Dixit were seen leading a procession in a video that has since gone viral. While Srivastava was seen clanging a flat metal bell, Dixit was seen blowing a conch. The two were seen walking ahead of a crowd of a dozen people, that was also banging metal plates, ringing bells, and clapping their hands.
Pilibhit Police says officials weren't leading procession; blames 'one-sided' reports
The Pilibhit Police later clarified that the officials weren't leading the procession, but directing them to their homes. The police said that some people had stepped out of their homes, but since brute force would not have been reasonable, they led the crowd to their homes. The police blamed "one-sided" news reports for the backlash and attached a video of Srivastava as "proof."
Here's what DM Srivastava says in the video
DM Srivastava said, "The public has taken the PM's appeal to clap their hands and ring bells quite seriously. But I would appeal everyone to stay inside their homes and not gather in one place since crowds can increase the risk of coronavirus infection."