GUWAHATI: With the Covid situation getting worse in the Northeast, a Tripura family had to pay a price for continuing with a wedding celebration during night curfew.
Tripura West District Magistrate, Dr Shailesh Kumar Yadav raided the wedding hall in state capital Agartala on Monday night and stopped the party, sending out a message that such irresponsible behaviour will be stubbed out firmly.
In a video of the incident that has gone viral on social media, the DM is seen shoving the groom out of the hall. The police personnel, accompanying him, beat up people before driving them out.
“Go out. Let’s go out,” Yadav shouted as he pushed the groom out of the hall. “Book them and take them to lockup,” he ordered the cops.
A woman showed a piece of paper to the DM to tell him that the family had obtained permission for the ceremony but he tore it into pieces. He said the permission was not for marriage beyond 10 pm.
"All these people, who assembled, violated prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and as such, they will be prosecuted under IPC Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant). All of them will be arrested right now," Yadav told journalists at the site.
Altogether 31 people were taken into custody by the police. They were let off later.
During the raid, he had asked a police officer to count the number of people present at the wedding hall. When the cop said the officer-in-charge (OC) of the local police station was coming, the DM lost his cool.
"Count and tell me. This is my command as the DM. You all are hand in glove with these people," he thundered.
"I will recommend to the government to suspend the OC of Agartala West Police Station because he has not acted upon repeated complaints of people. I, the DM, had to come here. This is very shameful on the part of the police," Yadav said.
He said the people, who attended the wedding, were educated and rich. If Covid spreads, these very people will go and blame the government saying it has not done anything, he said.
He ordered the closure of the marriage hall as well as another for one year for violating the orders on night curfew.