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Former Gujarat Minister held for COVID-19 norms violation

Kanti Gamit had organised an event which was attended by thousands in violation of social distancing norms

Former Gujarat BJP Minister Kanti Gamit was arrested on Wednesday for violation of COVID-19 guidelines, a day after a video showing a huge crowd without masks at an engagement ceremony he hosted went viral.

Two policemen who attended the ceremony, in which thousands of people attended in complete violation of social distancing norms, have also been suspended for dereliction of duty.

The action against Mr. Gamit came after the Gujarat High Court reprimanded the local authorities for showing laxity earlier in the day during a hearing of a suo motu petition on the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, after the video went viral on social media and was widely covered in the local media, Mr Gamit admitted that it was a lapse on his part to have allowed such a large gathering at the event.

“I apologise, it was a mistake. We had organised Tulsi Vivah and my granddaughter’s engagement ceremony together, but didn’t invite anyone personally. The invitation was sent on whatsapp. We had prepared food for 2000 people and also organised a dance as is the tribal tradition. Someone made a video and circulated it on social media,” Mr. Gamit told reporters.

The engagement event took place on November 30. The video that surfaced a day after showed thousands of people dancing in circles in complete disregard for COVID-19 guidelines.

The Gujarat government had imposed night curfew in cities like Rajkot, Surat and Vadodara, besides a 57-hour curfew in Ahmedabad, last month as the number of coronavirus cases saw a surge after the Diwali festival.


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