As Covid-19 lockdown was extended till May 3, Puducherry Congress MLA, a close confidante of Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, has been booked for the second time for allegedly violating the norms. A John Kumar allegedly ventured out to distribute relief materials in his village drawing a crowd of over 150 people, police said on Tuesday.
Following the incident, a case was registered against Kumar on a complaint from the Revenue Department officials that the MLA along with others was distributing rice bags to over 150 people near his house in neighbouring Nellithope village on Monday, in violation of the rules. He was booked under Indian Penal Code sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease) and provisions of the Disaster Management Act and the Epidemics Act, police said adding further investigation was on.
This is the second time that John Kumar had been booked on charges of the same offence. Police had last month registered a case against the legislator and others for allegedly violating the lockdown and distributing vegetables to around 200 people outside his house. Meanwhile, the Excise Department has suspended licences of 22 liquor and arrack shops for illegally selling the brew during the ongoing lockdown.
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The day also saw the Chief Minister, Welfare Minister M Kandasamy and the Congress MP V Vaithilingam paying floral tributes to a statue of B R Ambedkar on the occasion of his birth anniversary while observing social distancing.
Earlier on March 26, the Congress MLA was accused of distributing bags with vegetables to a crowd of over 200 people near his residence in Puducherry's Nellithope. The Puducherry police registered and FIR against John Kumar for his 'irresponsible conduct' of allowing a gathering of 200 people and distributing the bags to them personally, amid the Coronavirus scare. Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy extended the lockdown in the UT till April 30. The UT has 6 active Coronavirus cases.
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(with PTI inputs)