Health minister Sarma was seen without face mask, when he along with his wife and kids had gone to offer prayers at the shakti shrine atop Nilachal Hills.

Amid surge in Covid-19 cases in Guwahati, Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday visited the city’s Kamakhya temple without wearing face mask.

Health minister Sarma was seen without face mask, when he along with his wife and kids had gone to offer prayers at the shakti shrine atop Nilachal Hills.

While his two children were seen wearing face masks, his wife Riniki Bhuyan Sarma was seen with a mask hanging around her neck.

Wearing face mask in public has been made compulsory by the Assam government and violation of this norms now attracts penalty of Rs 500.

This is not the first time that Sarma has flouted the norms for preventing the spread of COVID-19. Earlier in a meeting, Sarma was seen with a mask hanging around his neck.

Interestingly, health minister Sarma himself on May 7 had told reporters in Guwahati that the authorities would impose a fine of Rs 500 for not wearing mask in public.

Fine will apply to those who have masks hanging around their necks too, he had further said.

Secondly, minister Sarma visited the temple along with his family members when lockdown was in force in Kamakhya temple area.

The Kamrup (M) district administration imposed a 14-day total lockdown from Tuesday night at 11 wards of the city including Kamakhya temple and Kamakhya colony areas which fall under ward no 4.

Movement of people except those involved in essential activities has been strictly prohibited in the areas, where lockdown is in force.

Minister Sarma’s visit to the temple is purely personal and is not related to essential services.

The health minister has also skipped quarantine on his arrival from Manipur and New Delhi recently.

On June 23, Sarma, accompanied by Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma, flew to New Delhi from Imphal, along with the four former NPP ministers for having a discussion with home minister Amit Shah.

While Sarma refused to undergo quarantine on arrival from Delhi, Congress leaders Ajay Maken and Gaurav Gogoi were sent to quarantine on June 19 in Imphal.

The Congress had rushed its leaders Maken and Gogoi to the capital city of Manipur following political turmoil in the BJP-ruled state.

Mahesh Deka

Mahesh Deka is Senior Copy Editor of Northeast Now. He can be reached at: maheshdk3@gmail.com