Section 144 declared in Mumbai during Ganesh festival, no processions allowed

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Section 144 declared in Mumbai during Ganesh festival, no processions allowed
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Citing the COVID-19 situation, police on Thursday imposed orders under CrPC section 144 in Mumbai, prohibiting assembly of five or more persons during the Ganesh festival between September 10 to 19. No processions of any kind would be allowed in the city during this period and devotees would not be allowed to visit Ganesh pandals either, an official statement said.

All prominent Ganesh mandals would be offering the online 'darshan' facility, police said. Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure empowers the authorities to issue prohibitory orders for preventive purposes.

The Maharashtra home department had issued a circular the day before banning visits to pandals so as to prevent the spread of the viral infection. Mumbai on Wednesday recorded 530 new coronavirus cases, highest since mid-July. The order issued by Deputy Commissioner of Police S Chaitanya referred to the directives of the home department as well as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

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People can have 'darshan' of Ganesh idols installed in pandals through the online mode or through other electronic media (such as TV), the police release said. Any person violating the orders would face action under IPC section 188 (disobeying order lawfully promulgated by public servant) and other relevant laws, it said.

City police commissioner Hemant Nagrale also issued a video message, appealing Mumbaikars to observe safety precautions during the festival. A surge in COVID-19 cases has been observed in Mumbai and neighbouring areas in the last few days, he pointed out.

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