There will be no lockdown in five Uttar Pradesh cities for now. An order by the Allahabad High Court last evening, challenged by the UP government, has been paused by the Supreme Court.
The Allahabad High Court had ordered a lockdown till April 26 in Lucknow, Prayagraj, Varanasi, Kanpur and Gorakhpur. The Yogi Adityanath-led government refused to enforce it last evening.
The Uttar Pradesh government had argued that locking down five cities by judicial order “may not be the right approach”. It also said Allahabad High Court’s order infringed upon the UP government’s domain.
“I share the concern of the court. Several steps have been taken,” said the UP government, but added that some of what had been ordered by the High Court was already in place.
The High Court, while ordering the cities to shut down, had said the pandemic had “virtually incapacitated our medical infrastructure…especially in cities like Prayagraj, Lucknow, Varanasi, Kanpur and Gorakhpur”.
But the state government said such a lockdown was not needed and it had to protect both lives and livelihoods.