5 Guj cops booked for flouting COVID-19 norms at birthday bash

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Bhuj, May 29 (PTI) A case has been registered against a police sub inspector and four constables in Kutch district of Gujarat for allegedly violating COVID-19 guidelines during a birthday party, officials said on Saturday.

The case was registered at Anjar police station on Friday night after a video of the incident that had occurred two weeks back, surfaced on social media platforms, they said.

The four constables belong to the Local Crime Branch, while the sub inspector is posted in Surat, the officials said, adding that the constables have been suspended.

The video showed them enjoying themselves at the birthday party at a farmhouse- cutting cakes and bursting firecrackers- by flouting COVID-19 norms.

'A total of six persons, including five policemen, were booked under IPC sections 269 (unlawful and negligent act likely to spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life) and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), and also sections of the Epidemic Diseases Act and Disaster Management Act,' an official of Anjar police station said.

The FIR was registered on Friday night, and further action is being taken, he said.

Kutch (East) Superintendent of Police Mayur Patil said the four constables were suspended soon after the video came to light, and the investigation into the case was handed over to the Deputy Superintendent of Police.

As per the details of the case, Deep Haribha, one of the accused, had thrown a surprise birthday party for his constable friend Babubhai Gareja at a farmhouse near Anjar on the night of May 14. Four other policemen were among around eight persons invited to the party where they also burst fire crackers at midnight.

'They flouted social distancing norms and none of them was wearing a face mask,' the official said. PTI COR KA NP NP

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