An elderly Kolkata woman and a rickshaw puller seen on a deserted Kolkata street amid the shutdown | Representational image | ANI
An elderly woman and a rickshaw puller seen on a deserted Kolkata street amid the shutdown | Representational image | ANI
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Kolkata: The Modi government has written to the Mamata Banerjee administration in West Bengal reiterating the need to strictly enforce the lockdown in the state.  

The central government has listed a number of places in Kolkata where it claims there “are no regulations” and a “number of exceptions” are being for marketplaces including those selling fish, vegetables and mutton. 

Of the seven places in Kolkata named in the letter, five — Rajabazaar, Topsia, Metiabruz, Gardenreach and Ikbalpur — are Muslim-dominated regions.  

Only Maniktala and Narkel Danga in north Kolkata are not dominated by the minority community in terms of population. The letter does mention that Narkel Danga has witnessed a good number of “Covid-19 like cases”. 

The letter from the ministry of home affairs (MHA), dated 10 April and  accessed by The Print, states that the union government has been receiving reports of “gradual dilution of the lockdown” in West Bengal. 

The letter mentions that “the above activities” are in violation of the home ministry’s orders and liable for penal action under the Disaster Management Act. The central government has also sought an “urgent” report from the state in this regard. 

West Bengal chief secretary Rajiva Sinha, however, said that the government did not receive any such letter as of now, while DGP Virendra did not respond to texts and calls. 

A senior MHA official told ThePrint that the letter was sent to the state Friday evening and the senior officers should get it by Saturday morning. 

Also read: ED files money laundering case after clash between Trinamool Congress factions in Kolkata

‘West Bengal govt making too many exceptions’

In its letter, the central government has accused the Mamata Banerjee administration of making too many exceptions during the lockdown. 

The Centre has claimed that “shops relating to non-essential items have been allowed to function” and there is “no regulation in vegetable, fish and mutton markets where people have been thronging in complete violation of social distancing norms”. 

The Banerjee government has allowed sweet meat shops, the flower market and bidi workers to operate for restricted hours while abiding by the social distancing rules. 

The government has also allowed 15 per cent of the total workforce in the state’s tea garden to function. 

A couple of days ago, Banerjee granted permission to restricted operations of yellow taxis for emergency purposes. 

Also read: Bombs, bullets fly as Covid-19 lockdown fails to end violence in ‘politically-charged’ Bengal

The listed violations 

The letter adds that the  state police has “reportedly” been allowing “religious congregations”.  

But there have been violations by both sides in this regard.  

Instances of people gathering at temples in West Bengal during Ram Navami were reported last week. And on Friday, prayers were reportedly held at a mosque in Murshidabad.  

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has, however, repeatedly appealed to all community leaders to ensure there are no gatherings at any religious places during the lockdown. 

The letter has also questioned political leaders distributing ration, saying this  might have “resulted in spread of Covid-19 infection”. 

“Free ration has been distributed not through the institutional delivery system but by political leaders. This may have resulted in the spread of Covid-19 infections,” read the letter.

Also read: Don’t celebrate Bengal, news of home delivery of booze is fake. Be happy with sweets


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  1. Did the central government letter mention Muslim Area or is it Print’s addition to sensationalise the issue?

  2. It’s sad to read again the name Muslim which is basically highlighted … Central govt it’s a request take areas name and pls stop dividing areas in the name of religion … Soch badloge toe desh badlega

  3. You visit youtube and type SANMAY BANERJEE. You will know how the state machinery has been used to carry political favours. Party members are using this to make money. Many people are not getting anything.

  4. Pls don’t play your communal politics first send memos and sack leaders of Karnataka and also look what is happening in UP MP GUJARAT etc and then find faults with states where the local admin is doing a fantastic job in spite of your non cooperation and a fault of yours which Indians are paying

  5. Complete lockdown is the only solution to save lives. It is fact that to follow complete lockdown there must be some difficulties amongst a section of people, but there is no alternative. Partial lockdown will not be fruitful at the desired level.

  6. Madamji we are all going through a very serious time. If this situation continues whom you are going to rule. Pl madam you are CM not an ordinary person. Any difference with center is nothing to do with this virus becuase it will not understand it. Before time run out save innocent. With one single food daily we can live. Take action to lockdown people movement. Otherwise there may not be any people to find like in Europe

  7. What’s up with ‘Muslim Areas’? Did the government notice mentioned it? NO
    Just because the mentioned areas happened to be Muslim-majority, does it authorise Print to write them as ‘Muslim Areas’? This further creates sense of ‘victimhood’ in Muslim minds. And what the f**k is ‘Muslim Area’ – 30% of West Bengal population is Muslim. If we keep on saying like that they will become more territorial of the areas dominated by them and this will further increase tendencies of separatism/special privileges.

  8. Very crunch situation in West Bengal in few areas there is no lockdown also medicine shops are not open.

  9. Dilution of lockdown in all minority areas & fudging of Covid deaths by controlling & altering the Death Certificates.
    Sums up the future of WB’s fight against Covid19.

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