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Deaths due to oxygen crisis no less than genocide: Alld HC to UP govt

Prayagraj: Allahabad High Court has hauled up the Uttar Pradesh government over deaths due to shortage of Oxygen and termed it no less than ‘genocide’ .

It also made strong observations on Covid management in the state and on the role of State Election Commission(SEC) in holding Panchayat polls.

“Death of Covid patients just for non-supplying of oxygen to the hospitals is a criminal act and not less than a genocide by those who have been entrusted the task” ,’ it stated.

“How can we let our people die in this way,” asked a division bench of Justices Siddhartha Varma and Ajit Kumar.

The court has given DM Lucknow and DM Meerut 48 hours to submit a report by May 7.

Apart from sighting several cases of lapses in providing medical assistance, the court took a stern view on alleged violations of Covid protocol during panchayat polls and counting of votes on May 2.

The bench gave the verdict on a PIL here on Tuesday evening.

“Now, coming to the affidavit filed on behalf of State Election Commission in response to our order dated April 27, 2021 in which we had asked for explanation from it in respect of deaths of the polling agents and officers that had taken place due to their getting infected by this deadly virus Covid-19, we find that except seeking a verification from the District Magistrates/ District Election Officers of all the districts vide letter dated April 28, 2021, nothing more has been done,” the judges expressed.

The High court asked the state EC to provide all CCTV feed of counting centres from worst hit districts of Lucknow, Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Prayagraj, GB nagar, Meerut, Agra and Kanpur.

It also asked the State EC of action taken against those who violated the norms.

Next date of hearing in the case is on May 7 at 1100 hrs and the court has asked both Mr Manish Goyal, Additional Advocate General and Mr Tarun Agrawal, counsel for the State Election Commission to come up with comprehensive compliance affidavit in respect of the order passed on April 27, 2021 as well as the order passed on Tuesday.

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