At a time when the lockdown has been extended in the country and all religious functions and social gatherings have been banned till 3 May to halt the spread of Covid-19, around 150 people participated in a religious procession in Karnataka’s Kalaburagi district on Thursday.
People were taking part in the Siddalingeshwara temple chariot festival in Chittapur taluk, according to reports.
Superintendent of Police Martin Marbaniang told The Hindu that around 150 people gathered for the festival at around 6.30 am. Marbaniang, the report added, said sub-inspector Vijayakumar Bavagi, attached to Wadi police station, has been suspended from service for delinquency and irresponsibility pending an enquiry.
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner B Sharat has also placed Chittapur Child Development Project Officer Rajkumar Rathod, who was designated as Sectoral Magistrate, under suspension pending an enquiry, The Hindu further said.
Chittapur tahsildar Umakant Halle, talking to The New Indian Express, said that the taluk administration was misguided by the Trust which runs the temple. “The chariot pulling was to take place on Thursday evening and the Siddalingeshwara Trust agreed to cancel it. But without informing the taluk administration, the chariot was pulled on Thursday morning at 5 am in the presence of many devotees,” The New Indian Express said.
A case has been registered against 20 people for violation of lockdown rules, Marbaniang told ANI. A case has also been registered against the temple management.
Karnataka has 315 confirmed Covid-19 cases, according to the Union health ministry, and Kalaburagi is among the hotspots it has listed in the state.