Social distancing goes for toss in weddings and funerals despite strict lockdown rules in rural Bihar


Express News Service

PATNA: At a time when over 76 per cent Covid-19 positive cases are being reported from rural Bihar, instances of people are not maintaining social disctancing in weddings or in funerals have surfaced in large numbers.

The Bihar government has allowed only 20 people to attend weddings and funeral in the state amid surge in Covid-19 cases. However, in reality, nobody seems to follow this in rural parts of the state.

On request of staying anonymous, a senior police officer said “it is not easy to ensure ban on gathering of more than 20 people, especially in the hinterland of Bihar.”​

“Whenever a police team goes to stop the gathering, they are attacked or chased by locals. Many such incidents of attacks on police have been reported”, said the source.

A number of videos, showing ‘dance girls’ performing in wedding functions, despite the ban, have surfaced on social media sending the police administration into a tizzy.

Reports from multiple districts like Bettiah, Ara, Chapra, Barh, Nalanda, Jamui, Vaishali, Muzaffarpur and others, defying the ban have surfaced. People are also indulging in celebratory firings with licenced firearms in thesee occasions.

Many such incidents have been reported including the recent one from Jamui, where one man was seen firing with a gun at a reception party with more than 20 people.

In Samastipur district, when the police team went to stop the gathering, a group of people attacked the cops.

In Shekhpura district, another musical event with ‘dance girls’ was organised despite the lockdown.

The state government has also imposed a total ban on DJs playing at wedding functions during the lookdown. “But hardly anyone cares to adhere to these guidelines in rural areas. DJs are hired and play loud music with people dancing together, unmindful of social distancing.” said Rahul Kumar, who runs a sound system-cum-decoration service in Vaishali.

“This is happening in Bihar when more than 76 per cent of positive cases are being reported from rural areas. The state government has passed an order imposing ban on gathering but it is not implemented on the ground,” said Prabhu Nath, a local from Muzaffarpur.

A social researcher Rachana Kumari said “social distancing amid the coronavirus crisis in more than 95 per cent of wedding events goes for a toss in the state”.

“Reason, it is almost impossible to ensure only 20 persons at wedding function. In a typical middle class family in Bihar happens to be of more than 20 members. How can one stop even the family members attending the wedding or post death rituals? This is a bit impractical ban amid the corona crisis”, a person shared his opinion while speaking to The New Indian Express.

Meanwhile, ADG (Police HQ), Jitendra Kumar said that the police are taking action against those violating lockdown rules.

Kumar said: “The police in Bihar have arrested 456 persons, lodged 230 FIRs, seized 13,803 vehicles and realised a huge sum of Rs 2.68 crore in fine  from the people against violation of Covid-19 guidelines and protocols from May 1 to 14”, the ADG said.

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