Other States

PIL challenges institutional quarantine of 1,408 people in Nagpur

Keeping vigil: State Reserve Police Force deployed at Satranjipura, one of the containment zones in Nagpur.

Keeping vigil: State Reserve Police Force deployed at Satranjipura, one of the containment zones in Nagpur.   | Photo Credit: S. Sudarshan

Plea says Nagpur residents were randomly sent to facility, guidelines were not followed

A public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed before the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court challenging the institutional quarantine of 1,408 people, including women and children, from two COVID-19 hotspots in the city.

Justice Anil Kilor has directed the State and Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) to respond to the plea filed by Mohammad Nishat, a local resident, through his advocate Tushar Mandlekar.

The PIL said the Nagpur civic authorities had not complied with the guidelines laid down to handle COVID-19 persons. It also said people were randomly picked up and sent to the quarantine facility.

The plea claimed that 1,408 people from Satranjipura and Mominpura areas of Nagpur were illegally detained by the corporation, which categorised them as high-risk people after they allegedly came in contact with persons who tested positive for COVID-19.

The corporation swung into action after a 68-year-old man from Satranjipura came in touch with a person who had returned from Tablighi Jamaat Markaz at Nizamuddin and died after he tested positive for the virus.

The number of COVID-19 positive cases had started increasing after the incident, following which the corporation quarantined people.

Advocate Mandlekar submitted that in placing people under quarantine in this fashion, the authorities violated protocols and guidelines issued by the Central Government and Indian Council of Medical Research, which stipulated that only persons who had tested positive for COVID-19 and people they came in touch with, could be detained and quarantined for 14 days. However, the corporation was randomly quarantining people, which amounted to infringement of the fundamental rights of freedom of expression and the right to living with dignity.

The municipal corporation counsel Sudhir Puranik submitted a response from Dr. Pravin Gantawar from the NMC’s health department, stating that the corporation was strictly following the guidelines and had quarantined people who were in the ‘high risk category’.

The matter will now be heard on May 5.

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 5:11:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/pil-challenges-institutional-quarantine-of-1408-people-in-nagpur/article31506182.ece

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