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New Delhi, April 10, 2020
In view of the festivals in this month, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs today directed all States and Union Territories (UTs) to ensure strict compliance of lockdown measures to fight the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and not allow any social and religious gatherings or processions.
An official press release said the States have been told to inform district authorities and field agencies about the specific prohibitions as mentioned in the Consolidated Guidelines on Lockdown Measures.
They should take all required precautionary and preventive measures for maintenance of law and order, peace and public tranquillity. Appropriate vigil on social media should also be maintained against the circulation of any objectionable content, the communication adds.
The communication has further requested that for the attention of the public authorities, social/religious organisation and citizens, the respective provisions of the guidelines should be widely circulated. It adds that for violation of any lockdown measure, action under the relevant penal provisions of the Disaster Management Act 2005 and the Indian Penal Code (IPC) should be taken by the law enforcing agencies.
The consolidated guidelines on the lockdown measures to be taken by Ministries/ Departments of Government of India, State/Union Territory Governments and State/ Union Territory Authorities for containment of COVID-19 epidemic in the country were notified by the Ministry on March 24 and further modified on subsequent dates.
Clauses 9 and 10 of the Consolidated Guidelines state that no religious congregation will be permitted without any exception and all social/cultural/religious functions/gatherings shall be barred.