“FIRs will be registered against Artists violating Bihu SOP”: Himanta Biswa Sarma
GUWAHATI: Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday warned the artists and Bihu cultural night organizers of lodging FIRs against them if they fail to adhere to the Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs) issued for organizing Bihu functions.
Earlier, the state government issued an SOP for the Bihu celebration and restricted the cultural programs till 11.30 PM. Also, other Covid protocols like social distancing, wearing of masks were made mandatory during the celebrations.
However, on the first day of the Rongali Bihu celebration which started on Wednesday, several cultural functions were seen to be happening beyond the timing.
Sarma said, “If anyone violates the SOP then an FIR would be registered against them. Police will not restrict artists from performing even if they cross the deadline of 11.30 PM. But FIRs will be registered against them.”
He added that the government had issued the SOP keeping the Bihu celebrations in mind. “State government did not want to restrict people from celebrating Bihu but everyone needs to follow the protocols and law,” he added.
Committees set up to celebrate Bihu across the state have expressed annoyance at SOPs and restrictions – including twice-daily sanitisation of venues – announced by the state government to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
They have complained that while the politicians held election rallies recently where thousands of people gathered violating the Covid protocols, no action was taken.
“When it came to the common people, the government is dictating its norms. Why?” Sodou Assam Bihu Sanmilani Samanway Rakhi Samittee general secretary Pranab Goswami said. Many Bihu committees have already canceled their cultural functions due to the SOP.