Kolkata, April 17 | West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday gave strict instructions to the police to stop mass gatherings including those in religious places in Murshidabad district, and threatened bank officials of action if they don’t limit the number of customers in branches.
“There is a surge of people in temples, mosques and gurudwaras in Murshidabad. Why isn’t the police taking up a campaign sensitising people against such things during the lockdown?” Banerjee asked during an administrative meeting here.
A large number of people gathered at the Gopi Nagar mosque in Kandit for Friday prayers on April 10 defying the lockdown, prompting the police to disperse the crowd.
“People should not congregate at markets, religious places or at marriage ceremonies till further orders from the government. The markets should be sanitised,” she said.
“Why are there so many disturbances in your district?” Banerjee asked Deputy Inspector General, Murshidabad range, Mukesh Kumar.
She also took exception to the recent crowding before some bank branches by those holding Jan Dhan accounts for withdrawing amount of Rs 500 given to each account holder in view of the Covid-19 situation.
“The bank people should be told not to allow more than seven persons together. They should call people in groups,” said Banerjee instructing Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha to give such a written instruction on behalf of the state government.
“It seems they are calling one lakh people at one go. They are giving only Rs 500, but campaigning as if they are doling out Rs 5 crore. We will lodge FIRs against the officials if they violate the lockdown. Action will be taken as per Covid law,” she said.
Sinha asked the district administrations to send letters to the banks that they should keep the state officials in the loop before taking such decisions.
The chief minister pointed out to Kumar and Malda’s Police Superintendent AAlok Rajoria that a large number of migrant workers would enter the two districts soon. “All of them have to be kept under surveillance as per the Covid protocol.”
Meanwhile, the Chief Secretary said that a house to house survey was being done in Murshidabad because of the large number of Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) in the state. “We have seen, the SARI cases often lead to Covid,” he said.