B Srinivas Kakkilaya, a senior doctor in Mangaluru, was booked under the Epidemic Act based on a complaint that he refused to wear a mask at a supermarket here, police said on Wednesday. The police have said that Srinivas did not wear a mask on Tuesday while shopping and refused to do so when asked by the supermarket staff. A video of a heated argument between the staff at the grocery store and the doctor later went viral on social media.
Based on a complaint from Ryan Rosario, a partner of the supermart at Kadri in Mangaluru, a case was registered against the doctor under sections 4, 5 and 9 of Karnataka State Epidemic (prevention) Act 2020, the police said. In the video, the staff member at the grocery store is seen asking Dr. Srinivas Kakkilaya to wear a mask while shopping in the grocery store. "The rules are for everyone and not only for you. You wear a mask and if you don't have a mask, we will provide one for you," the staff is heard saying.
The doctor, in the video, can be heard telling the staff member at the grocery store that he had already contracted COVID-19 and recovered from the disease. "I am not putting anybody at risk because I had COVID-19 and recovered. Rules can be made and they can be foolish," the doctor is heard saying.
The doctor also stated that he did not agree with the decision to enforce a lockdown in the state and the staff member in the grocery store told the doctor that he should make his opposition to the lockdown known elsewhere and not inside the grocery store.
The same doctor had previously written to Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa stating a lockdown in the state to curb the spread of COVID-19 will be counterproductive. His argument was that people will crowd supermarkets if they are open only at a limited time like 6-10 am. He has in the past advocated that wearing masks and following COVID-19 protocols is necessary to curb the spread of the virus.
TNM was unable to contact Dr. Srinivas. This story will be updated if and when he responds.