CM Mamata Banerjee
CM Mamata Banerjee

A letter was issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on Friday stating that West Bengal was violating lockdown measures.

Addressed to the Chief Secretary of the West Bengal government and the state's Director General of Police, the letter talks about a "gradual dilution of lockdown". It also said that such activities violated the Home Ministry's orders "issued from time to time under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and are liable for penal action under the Act".

"As per further reports received from security agencies, gradual dilution of lockdown has been reported from West Bengal, with an increase in the number of exceptions being provided by the State Government," the letter states.

The letter goes on to add that "shops relating to non-essential items have been allowed to function".

"There is no regulation in vegetable, fish and mutton markets where people have been thronging in complete violation of social distancing norms," it adds. The areas named in the letter are Rajabazar, Narkeldanga, Topsia, Metiaburz , Gardenreach, Ikbalpur and Maniktala.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee however has a slightly different take on the issue.

“Centre has just asked to keep a vigilance on certain areas , you know who Delhi is particularly asking us to keep a notice on but we are not fighting communal virus but a human disease,” she said.

"The letter alleged that the West Bengal policce had been allowing religous congregations to gather.

"Free ration has been distributed not through the institutional delivery system but by political leaders. This may have resulted in spread of COVID-19 infection," it added.

The MHA has sought "strict" action and a report on the same., adding that the officials should take measures to prevent violations in the future.

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