Mimi Chakraborty in trouble over Bengali New Year celebration with HIV-positive children
MP and actress, Mimi Chakraborty is tangled up in a controversy. Her representatives and local police administration were seen celebrating Bengali New Year with HIV-positive children from a home in Sonarpur area of West Bengal's South 24 Parganas. Allegedly, the lockdown rule was violated, and no social distancing norms were observed during the event. Also, by exposing the identity of HIV-positive minors they seem to have violated the Supreme Court order in this regard.
The purpose was to bring a few bright moments in the lives of HIV positive children during Paila Baishakh (Bengali New Year). However, this intent has caused the lockdown rule to be violated, and more so has exposed a large group of HIV-positive children to outsiders at a time when coronavirus is spreading rapidly.
The allegations don’t end here. As per the Supreme Court order, no HIV-positive patient's identity or image can be disclosed in public. In this case, pictures and videos of the event were posted on social media. The main accused are - Mimi Chakraborty, MP of Jadavpur Lok Sabha constituency and Bengali actress; Rashid Munir Khan, SP of Baruipur in South 24 Parganas of West Bengal and Kallol Ghosh, head of the HIV-positive children's home.
Reportedly, there was an event held to celebrate the Bengali New Year at a HIV-positive children's home at Sonarpur of South 24 Parganas on Tuesday afternoon. Even after the lockdown was extended, the organisers went on with the event as scheduled. Rashid Munir Khan, the police superintendent appeared with various gifts for the HIV-positive children. He was accompanied by his subordinate officers.
Meanwhile, Mimi Chakraborty, the MP of the Jadavpur Lok Sabha constituency and a noted Bengali actress, was also scheduled to arrive. However, she eventually refused to go there under the lockdown. Instead, she sent some clothes for the children through her representatives. She also sent a video message. Media persons were also invited there. With all these, a festive atmosphere was created at the home. People and the children were seen roaming around freely, violating lockdown and even social distancing norms.
Kallol Ghosh, the head of the children's home, has denied all the allegations. According to him, lockdown rules of and social distancing norms were obeyed. However, the pictures and videos of the event, that have surfaced on social media, clearly showed most children and guests without masks or gloves. SP Rashid Munir Khan and other police officials were seen standing around the children. Representatives of MP Mimi Chakraborty were also present there.
Even, prior to the Lockdown 2.0 announcement, the Centre had banned any religious or social gathering to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The question is how, MP Mimi Chakraborty, as a responsible public representative and SP Rashid Munir Khan as a responsible police officer, forgot these advisories. Kolol Ghosh, the head of home, is well aware of the low immunity in HIV-infected children. He, nevertheless, allowed the children to risk infection.
Meanwhile, a large number of people gathered in front of the home in anticipation of MP and a popular Bengali actress Mimi Chakraborty's arrival. Home chief Kallol Ghosh admitted that the SP and the representatives of the MP had to enter using an alternate route because of the crowd. In the growing threat of coronavirus across the world, in the presence of the superintendent of police himself, how did such a chaotic situation arise, is the question that people are seeking answers to.
A government official, who preferred to remain anonymous in the report, also said that the identity of the HIV positives could not be made public in any way. And in this case, it's a big crime as they were all minors. Asianet News Bangla called West Bengal's women and child welfare minister Shashi Panja regarding the issue. But the minister did not answer the phone. Sanghamitra Ghosh, secretary of the office of women and children development and social welfare, has not yet made any statement in this regard. And the deputy director of the child rights department, Supriya Sarkar, has refused to comment on the matter.