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Ramakanta Biswas

Berhampur: Flouting Covid-19 safety norms during a marriage in Berhampur of Ganjam district proved costly as the groom, his father and three of his uncles were arrested and the concerned families were penalised Rs 50,000 each.

Gopalpur Police arrested the groom along with four other family members that included three of his uncles, in connection with the incident, which triggered widespread outrage after a video of the marriage procession emerged on social media.

Prior to the arrests, the district collector, through a tweet had informed that a sum of Rs 50,000 has been collected as penalty from each of the families of the bride and the groom. Besides, cases have been registered against both the parties and the car used in the marriage procession has been impounded by the concerned RTO, the collector informed.

Requesting people to follow social distancing norms, the district collector further wrote, "Our own joy should not ruin others life."

According to sources, the marriage was solemnised at a 5-star hotel in Gopalpur last night. In a blatant violation of social distancing guidelines, the members of the marriage party along with the groom were seen dancing in close quarters while none them had worn any face coverings.

After the video of the marriage went viral on social media, the local Tehsildar had conducted a probe into the matter.

Later today, the collector informed that the concerned hotel where the marriage was organised has been sealed for 7 days.

"Hotel Mayfair Gopalpur sealed for 7 days for violation of social distancing for the arrangement of marriage. We won’t tolerate these type of violations. We again request all to follow social distancing norms & don’t put your life in risk in corona scenario," the Collector tweeted. (SIC)

Referring to the violation of norms during the marriage in Berhampur, the Chief Minister's Office said, "Odisha is in a crucial phase in the fight against COVID19 and hence, it is very essential that we all obey guidelines and regulations issued by State Government to contain the spread of Covid19. Violation of the same would lead to strong action."

Ganjam is the worst-affected district in Odisha that accounts for 2,066 of the total 8,601 COVID19 cases reported so far in the State. Of the 495 new positive cases detected today, 216 cases were reported from the district. Ganjam's Covid-19 death toll is highest in the State as 20 patients have already succumbed to the disease.

(Edited By Bikram Jena)

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