New Delhi, Jun 7 (PTI) Congress workers held a protest outside a drive-through coronavirus vaccination centre in Akshardham here on Monday, demanding free jabs for all and criticising the Delhi government's inoculation policy.
According to a Congress statement, the protest led by Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) president Anil Chaudhary was held when Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia went to inaugurate the centre at the Commonwealth Games Village in Akshardam. Following the protest, several Congress workers, including DPCC vice-presidents Abhishek Dutt, Ali Mehndi, Mudit Agarwal and Jaikishan, Alka Lamba, Amrita Dhawan, Satbir Sharma, Vishnu Agarwal, Rajesh Chauhan and Mohd Usman, were detained by the Delhi Police.
A senior police officer said, 'A case under section 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of Indian Penal Code has been registered in the matter against them since they grouped in large numbers in violation of COVID-19 guidelines.' According to the DPCC, the protest was against the Delhi government's policy of 'encouraging costly private vaccination centres, instead of ensuring free vaccination to all'.
'Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been fooling the people of Delhi and telling them lies by promising them free vaccination.
'A large number of people are still waiting for their second dose even two months after getting their first jab. The Delhi government has run short of vaccines, while vaccines were available in abundance in private hospitals and drive-through vaccination centres, though these centres charge over Rs 1,600 per dose,” Chaudhary said.
He also alleged that Kejriwal was “busy inaugurating premium drive-through vaccination centres” after shutting down government centres.
“This would help the private players make a huge profit from the vaccination centres, and the Arvind Kejriwal government seems to have some vested interest in it,” Chaudhary said.
In an address to the nation on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the central government will provide free coronavirus vaccine to states for inoculation of all above the age of 18 from June 21.
He said the Centre has decided to buy 75 per cent of jabs from vaccine makers, including 25 per cent of the state quota, and give it for free to state governments.
Modi said private sector hospitals can continue to procure 25 per cent of vaccines, but their service charge would be capped at Rs 150 per dose over fixed price of the vaccine. PTI TRS/AMP SMN SMN