Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday dropped the leader of the opposition Suvendu Adhikari’s name from the three-member committee for monitoring the Gangasagar Mela.
Following the plea from the state government, the division bench of Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice Kesong Doma Bhutia reconstituted it to a two-member committee comprising former Justice Samapti Chatterjee and Raju Mukhopadhyay, member secretary of the West Bengal Legal Services Authority.
It can be noted that in its earlier verdict the Calcutta High Court constituted a three-member committee including state Chief Secretary HK Dwivedi, Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari and a member from Human Rights Commission.
The High Court also ruled that the pilgrims will be allowed to visit Gangasagar only after they produce two certificates of the vaccination and RT-PCR negative report conducted 72 hours before reaching the venue.
“The pilgrims will also have to undergo RT-PCR test before entering the fair complex and Sagar Island should be declared as notified area by the state government ahead of the fair,” said the High Court sources.
The sources also stated that the Justice claimed the state Chief Secretary will be responsible if anyone is seen violating the norms.
Slamming the Calcutta High Court, BJP spokesperson Shamik Bhattacharya said that the High Court is working at the behest of the TMC government.
“The post of LoP is similar to the Chief Minister and instead of putting a ban on the fair the High Court is working as per instructions of the TMC government. HC is politicizing the religious program,” said Shamik.
Meanwhile, the health experts warned once again against allowing the Gangasagar Mela.
Talking to Free Press Journal, Dr. Subhrojyoti Bhowmick said that the Gangasagar fair will be a ‘super spreader’ of the pandemic.
“It is not feasible to conduct RT-PCR tests of hundreds and thousands of pilgrims visiting the fair. Moreover, in keeping with the present situation the fair should have been cancelled. This fair can be a super spreader of the virus,” claimed Bhowmick.
Dr. Shanta Dutta, director of the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, also claimed that controlling people in such a big gathering is a task as managing people during the ‘dip’ in the water is ‘impossible’.
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