National Security Act invoked against four Indore residents for ‘attacking’ healthcare workers

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The Indore district administration on Thursday invoked the National Security Act, 1980, against four persons accused of instigating residents of a locality to pelt stones and chase away health workers on Wednesday.

“We have arrested 13 of the accused. The Act has been invoked against four of them,” Vivek Sharma, Inspector General of the Police, Indore Zone, confirmed to The Hindu.

A joint team of health workers, revenue officials, anganwadi workers, municipal officials and police personnel were visiting the tatpatti bakhal area of the city to trace the contact history of a COVID-19 patient when they were pelted with stones, said a note issued by the Collectorate.

“By instigating residents of the locality to obstruct administrative work, some mischievous elements not only tried to play with their lives but with those residing in the whole city,” said the note.

The administration invoked Section 3(2) of the Act and passed an order to move the four accused to the Central jail Rewa. “Attack on paramedical staff and doctors, who are risking their lives to save people’s lives, will not be tolerated at any cost,” said Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

On Wednesday, a case against unidentified persons was registered under Sections 353 [Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty], 336 [Act endangering life or personal safety of others], 145 [Joining or continuing in unlawful assembly, knowing it has been commanded to disperse] and 269 [Negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life] of the Indian Penal Code.

Mr. Sharma said, “We have received videos and some local inputs based on which we are identifying the accused.”

With most patients from Indore having no recorded contact or travel history, health workers are yet to zero in on the source of the COVID-19 outbreak locally. Of the 111 cases in Madhya Pradesh so far, Indore alone has recorded 82 cases.

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