The second wave of the coronavirus pandemic is ravaging the country. At a time when it is required that citizens practice utmost restraint and step away from any public gatherings, a huge crowd congregated at Amritsar’s Jama Masjid Khairuddin Hall Bazar on the occasion of ‘Eid al-Fitr’ on May 14. Thousands were seen milling at the mosque indiscriminately without wearing any masks and without maintaining any social distancing, flouting every other COVID-19 norms.
Punjab: People gather in large numbers to offer namaz on the occasion of #EidUlFitr
Visuals from Amritsar’s Jama Masjid Khairuddin Hall Bazar pic.twitter.com/zTLXgFf1RE
— ANI (@ANI) May 14, 2021
The crowd gathered and went about its business as if Covid had perished from the country and all the while, the Punjab government and its police machinery remained a silent observer — making no effort whatsoever to disperse the crowd or enforce the Covid protocols.
Under its ‘remarkable’ lockdown strategy, the Punjab government earlier this month had imposed a ‘mini-lockdown’ till May 15. The state government had ordered the closure of cinema halls, bars, gyms and prohibited dine-in restaurants as part of the added curbs.
The Punjab home department, while issuing these directions to all deputy commissioners and district police chiefs, had also remarked that all shops selling non-essential items will remain closed in the state till May 15.
While the common man and small business owners continue to suffer due to the negative economic effect of lockdowns, the pampered privileged minority community continues to go about its merry ways.
Such has been the madness in the state under Captain Amarinder Singh’s reign that 32 farmer unions agitating against the revolutionary farm laws even took out a protest against the lockdown on May 8.
Reported by TFI, the protests were taken out in Moga, Patiala, Amritsar, Ajnala, among other places in the state. Farmers, including women, took out marches in the markets and forced the shopkeepers and traders through loudspeakers to open their shops. However, the shopkeepers kept their shops.
The fact that the alleged farmers congregated together amidst the burgeoning second wave of the pandemic where people are falling like flies and the Punjab government did nothing to stop them speaks volume about the priorities.
While Kumbh Mela was demonized and ostracized by the liberal media of the country, the huge crowd at the mosque and the alleged farmers were being given the free pass.
As reported previously by TFI, the Covid cases across Delhi and Punjab accounting for the highest number of the UK mutant variant of the virus have seemingly come from the farmers who had participated in the protests.
The direct correlation between the farmers’ protest and UK mutant strain was explained by one netizen named Navroop Singh who took to Twitter to post a nuanced thread that neatly dissected how the farmers’ protests played their part in the catastrophe.
Punjab on Friday recorded 8,068 fresh COVID-19 cases that took its tally to 4,83,984 while 180 more fatalities pushed the death toll to 11,477. The number of active cases in the state stood at 79,359. With such grim figures, the aforementioned gatherings could have turned into super spreader events and it won’t come as a surprise that the coming days see a spurt in the growth of cases.