The Uttar Pradesh police have filed an FIR against two villagers in Mewla Gopalgarh in Gautam Budh Nagar district after they complained to the press about poor healthcare facilities, the Wire .
On May 15, 2021, the news website how people in Mewla Gopalgarh suffering from Covid were being “treated” under a neem tree, with saline drip bottles hanging from its branches, due to the lack of healthcare facilities in the area. They believed that “healing properties” of the tree would cure their infection.
On May 17, the head of the local primary health centre filed a complaint, on the basis of which the police have since booked the two villagers under penal sections related to disobeying a public servant as well as under the Epidemic Diseases Act. The Times of India reported that the FIR names Harveer Talan, 65, and Yogesh Talan, former pradhan of the village, and accuses them of misleading the villagers about Covid treatment with the intention of maligning the image of the Adityanath government.
Speaking to the Wire, the former pradhan had claimed that several people in the village took sick after the panchayat election on April 19. “Not a single house where nobody is experiencing cough or fever,” he had said. “The administration has failed terribly on two fronts, testing and providing medical facilities to the sick. People are feeling helpless in this village.”
He’d added that local hospitals were refusing to admit patients with Covid symptoms such as high fever.
The administration has refuted the claim that the sick villagers were forced to seek “treatment” under the tree because of the lack of healthcare facilities. An unnamed official alleged to the Times of India that Harveer had consulted quacks and refused to be admitted for treatment in a Covid care facility, despite being offered a bed.