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EXCLUSIVE: Petition in Calcutta HC alleges mismanagement of Coronavirus crisis by West Bengal govt, state objects to inspection by Union Home Ministry

Senior Advocate Y.J.Dastoor, appearing for the Union Government said that the Home Ministry is prepared to visit West Bengal, inspect the prevailing conditions and file a report regarding the same.

A petition has been filed in the Calcutta High Court expressing grievances regarding the alleged mismanagement of the Wuhan Coronavirus crisis by the West Bengal government. The petition was filed by one Kabir Shankar Bose. Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan, the Chief Justice of the said court, has directed the state government to file a report in response to the allegations made in the petition. The next hearing in the matter has been fixed on the 26th of May, 2020.

Senior Advocate Y.J.Dastoor, appearing for the Union Government said that the Home Ministry is prepared to visit West Bengal, inspect the prevailing conditions and file a report regarding the same. Kishore Dutta, the Advocate General appearing for the state government, took objection to the suggestion made by Dastoor.

The order states, “Learned Advocate General appearing for the State submits that earlier a Central Team had visited the State and had spent several weeks inspecting various areas. Sufficient materials were gathered by that team. Hence, no further visit by any Central Team is necessary.” “Any further visit by a Central Team would, in effect, be a roving enquiry only to find fault with the State Administration, if possible,” it added.

The advocate for the Union Home Ministry replied that the earlier team was an inter-ministerial team. However, now, the team will consist of members from the Home Ministry only. The Court ruled that since the Home Ministry offered to file a report in the matter, then it should be filed on or before the next date of hearing. However, it was clarified that if any team of the Home Ministry decides to visit West Bengal, it will be in accordance to its own will and not due to the order passed by the Court.

Mismanagement of Coronavirus crisis by West Bengal government

The Mamata Banerjee-led government has been accused of covering up the extent of the spread of the Wuhan Coronavirus in the state by various quarters. The Health Services Association, West Bengal had spoken out against the manner in which the state administration is collecting the samples for the COVID-19 tests. The doctors said that the manner in which the samples are being currently collected might lead to false negatives and thereby, result in under-reporting of the actual number of Wuhan Coronavirus cases in the state.

Earlier, it was reported that every night, special teams of cops and paramedics dispose of bodies of coronavirus victims across Bengal. A special incinerator has been created close to a highway that connects Kolkata with the Sundarbans where workers are disposing of a large number of bodies every day. Over 100 videos showing slugfests between cops and local residents over such silent cremation using kerosene and other fuels have surfaced on social media platforms.

 

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