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Union Home Ministry takes disciplinary action against 4 Delhi government bureaucrats for ‘dereliction of duty’ in ensuring Coronavirus lockdown

On Sunday, the Central Government directed the governments of all States and Union Territory administrations to seal their borders in order to restrict the movement of migrant workers during the nationwide lockdown.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has initiated action against four bureaucrats in Delhi for failing to ensure COVID-19 lockdown. Two officers, including Additional Chief Secretary (Transport) and Principal Secretary (Finance), had been suspended with immediate effect. Show-cause notices were also served to the Additional Chief Secretary (Home and Land Buildings) and SDM (Seelampur).

The MHA was quoted as saying, “It has been brought to the notice of the competent authority that the following officers, who were responsible to ensure strict compliance to the instructions issued by Chairperson, National Executive Committee, formed under Disaster Management Act 2005 regarding containment of the spread of COVID-19, have prima facie failed to do so. These officers have failed to ensure public health and safety during the lockdown restrictions to combat COVID-19.”

The punitive action came after a massive crowd of migrant workers flocked to Anand Vihar and “jeopardized the safety of crores of other citizens.”

MHA initiates action against 4 officers for failing to ensure Lockdown
Suspension order against Additional Chief Secretary (Transport Department)

To do away with the migrant workers in the national capital amidst the pandemic, the AAP government earlier allegedly spread the rumour that buses have been waiting at the UP borders to take them to their respective households. This impelled the mass exodus of these migrant labourers, now camping at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border, in an attempt to return to their respective villages.

On Sunday, the Central Government directed the governments of all States and Union Territory administrations to seal their borders in order to restrict the movement of migrant workers during the nationwide lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the wake of Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak.

The States have also been directed to restrict the movement of people across cities and on highways. Only the movement of goods and essential supplies are to be permitted. Migrant workers who have violated lockdown guidelines and travelled to other states are to be kept under quarantine for 14 days in government facilities.

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