Eight people, including two women, were arrested in Vadodara on Sunday for allegedly spreading propaganda against the Covid vaccine in a public place in the city’s Kamati Baug neighborhood.
Police said a patrol team from Sayajiganj Police Station arrested the group in the evening for allegedly “spreading anti-vaccine propaganda” through Hindi leaflets in the bustling Kamati Baug Band Stand.
The defendants have been identified as Narendra Parmar, Chand-rakant Mistry, Vishal Ferwani, Kewal Pathadia, Jagvinder Singh, Irfan Patel, Avni Gajjar and Bhumika Gajjar – all residents of Vadodara.
“A patrol team received reports that a group was involved in spreading anti-vaccine propaganda at the Kamatibaug gang stand at around 1:45 pm. The people, who turned out to be members of the “Awaken Gujarat Movement” and “Awaken Vadodarians”, have been involved in spreading propaganda without wearing masks or maintaining social distancing at a time when a campaign is being waged by the Union government on immunization, ”said a senior police officer from the Sayajiganj police station.
Police said the eight defendants were convicted under Articles 120b of the Indian Penal Code for criminal conspiracy, 143 for unlawful assembly, 188 for disobeying an order issued by an official and 270 for a malicious act likely to spread the infection. disease, as well as section 51. B of the Disaster Management Act for refusal to comply with the directive issued by the central or state government and section 54 of the Disaster Management Act for false alarm.
Two brochures were seized by the police which read: “is it compulsory to take the COVID vaccine” and “can those who do not take the Covid vaccine be deprived of all services and programs related to the government”. Police said the group made a similar attempt in January 2021 and actively disseminated propaganda on social media group Telegram.