Day one of lockdown in Karnataka saw the police caning and forcing people to do sit-ups for violating guidelines.

Karnataka govt allows use of private vehicles to buy essentials
news Lockdown Tuesday, May 11, 2021 - 12:02

Instances of police adopting crude tactics like mild caning, forcing people to do sit-ups, making people sit or stand under the hot sun, were reported in Karnataka on Monday on the first day of the extended two-week lockdown in the state..

In Bengaluru, instances of police caning citizens were reported even before Monday. A Twitter user Rahul Machaiah shared a video showing police caning citizens and even an autorickshaw near KR Market on Sunday.

Meanwhile, police seized vehicles in the city claiming the lockdown guidelines issued by the state government had banned the usage of vehicles. According to them, people are asked to go only on foot to buy essentials. In most of Karnataka, where people have to travel 1 km to 15 km to buy daily essentials, this order was met with protests. 

By the end of Monday, a clarification was issued by the Karnataka government with the DGP Praveen Sood saying, "To buy groceries,vegetables and daily needs there is NO BAR for using vehicle to your neighbourhood shop in cities or nearest availability point in rural areas. Use this facility with discretion and not as a licence for free run everyday. Stay at home for your own safety."

In one incident, on Mysuru Road in the outskirts of Bengaluru, hundreds who were heading to Sirirangapattana in Mandya district where many Hindus go to immerse ashes and perform last rites were stranded. Police cited lockdown rules and sent many of them back to Bengaluru.

In Yadgir district, rural folks from 10 villages gathered and celebrated the local deity's fest, flouting COVID-19 norms with police unable to stop them and only later filing a complaint over the incident. 

In a rare case, a police Inspector in Davangere was seen appealing with folded hands to a chaotic crowd saying he would not be able to beat up people anymore as at least now people should behave to protect themselves. "How much can we beat our own people? Our men are already tired of Corona duty for the last one year. This is one of the longest duties on-field. There is no respite, fatigue is set in. We policemen are praying that somehow this COVID-19 should end," he said on a local news channel.

While in Koppal district, a seven-month-old pregnant woman had to walk for about 8 km to meet her doctor for a check-up due to lockdown rules banning vehicle movement. Many such images were shared from different parts of the state including Kodagu and Shivamogga showing people walking carrying ration and groceries. 

Karnataka has clamped a complete lockdown until May 24 to curb the spread of COVID-19. People are allowed to step out solely to purchase essentials between 6 am. and 10 am.

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