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Non-bailable charges like “attempt to murder” will be filed for creating ruckus in quarantine centres: Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma

"Those who are creating any sort of obstructions to the health workers while doing their duties, any sort of misconduct, will lead to their arrest, and (accused) will be consecutively booked under non-bailable charges such as an attempt to murder," said Assam Health Minister.

Assam Health, Finance, Education, and PWD Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday said that any person creating a ruckus in the quarantine centres will be slapped with non-bailable charges equivalent to “attempt to murder”.

Until now, Assam was only charging the accused with IPC section 269 (Negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and section 270 (Malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), both bailable with a jail term of six months only.

Assam Health Minister issues strict warning to trouble makers at quanrantine centres

“Those who are creating any sort of obstructions to the health workers while doing their duties, any sort of misconduct, will lead to their arrest, and (accused) will be consecutively booked under non-bailable charges such as an attempt to murder,” Sarma said on Thursday, amid reports of ruckus by inmates in at least two quarantine centres in Assam’s Bongaigaon and Chirang districts.

He further said that patients can contact him directly if they face any issues inside the quarantine centres.

Incidents of misconduct reported from quarantine facilities in Assam

According to reports, in Bongaigaon’s quarantine facility, inmates had allegedly abused the health workers over the quality of food, while the inmates from Chirang quarantine centre had reportedly fled. On being caught, they too complained about the food quality.

“We are going through a sensitive time and the moral of the health workers, who are fighting the COVID battle for us in the frontline, should not be hampered. Also, such kind of negligence by those in quarantine centres can put other’s lives at risk. A steadfast action against them is the call of the hour,” said Binisha Devi, a health worker.

There have been many such incidents where the people were caught jumping the quarantine or misbehaving with the health workers. In Golaghat, some people were found spitting inside the compound, despite clear warning that bodily fluids can be major carriers of the virus.

A section of patients vandalised a coronavirus care centre in Agartala reportedly alleging “poor quality food”, forcing the authorities to initiate a probe into the incident.

Earlier, there were many instances where Tablighi Jamaat members had reportedly engaged in similar unlawful behaviour with doctors, healthcare workers, police and government officials.

Tablighi Jamaat misbehavior

The Tablighi Jamaat congregation has turned out to be a hot spot after it emerged as a single source for thousands of positive cases in India. The event took place in New Delhi’s Nizamuddin Markaz in the second week of March 2020. Many of the attendees who were taken to quarantine centres and hospitals were later found misbehaving with the hospital staff and harassing them. Many even spat on the doctors, sexually harrassed nurses, attacked policemen and also hurled stones on the authorities in a bid to evade testing.

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