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‘Frightening’: HC pulls up DDMA, cops over overcrowding in Sarojini Nagar Market

New Delhi, Dec 24, 2021- The Delhi High Court on Friday turned its ire on the Delhi Police and the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) after taking note of reports, including a viral video, of an enormous crowd, virtual treading over each other, in a leading capital market, amid the rise in cases of Covid’s Omicron variant.

Taking cognisance of reports of overcrowding in the Sarojini Nagar market, a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh observed the situation is “frightening” and called on the DDMA and the police to work out a movement plan for the public at large visiting the market in light of the prevailing pandemic.

“There can be a stampede where hundreds of people can die. And don’t say that this is stage-managed. Hundreds of people are pushing each other and there is no control that people have… They are just flowing like a river,” the court said.

During the course of the hearing, suggestions also came up that if any squatter/vendor’s goods are seized for encroachment of the pavement/market road, then these should not be released since the vendors are flouting the court directions and market rules.

“Their goods are released after paying a paltry fine. In this way they are able to perpetuate illegal encroachment,” the court said.

Whether it’s Covid or no Covid, the situation is eerie, it said.

The bench also said the Sarojini Nagar market should be regulated by fixing entry points and ensuring that it is not filled to capacity and there is no overcrowding on any given day.

It will hear the matter further on January 17.  (Agency)

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