A case has been registered against the managing committee and president of the Someshwar temple in Ullal in Mangaluru for holding the 'Brahmakalashotsava' event where a large crowd gathered violating COVID-19 protocols to witness the chariot procession. Despite the stringent restrictions in force with the surge in COVID-19 infections, a large number of devotees had participated in the event on Monday night. Social distancing norms and other health guidelines issued by authorities were violated during the celebrations and many people were seen without masks.
Visuals shared by news agency ANI showed a large group of people standing in extremely close proximity, most of them seen without masks, despite the lockdown in place and the sharply rising number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.
A case has been registered at the Ullal police station under Section 188, 269 and 5 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 for the violations. The case was registered based on the complaint from the Someshwar municipal council.
The Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner had also directed the police to take strict action against the temple management committee after videos and photos of the event went viral on social media.
The event was held even as Karnataka has been witnessing a steep rise in COVID-19 cases, with nearly 40,000 cases reported in 24 hours. Karnataka reported its highest single-day rise on Wednesday, April 28, with 39,047 new cases. While capital Bengaluru reported 22,596 cases, Dakshina Kannada, where Mangaluru is located, recorded 664 cases on April 28.
The positivity rate (number of persons testing positive in a group of tests conducted) in the state was recorded as 22.7%, significantly higher than the 18.71% recorded a day before, on April 27. The state recorded 229 fatalities on Wednesday including 137 deaths in Bengaluru Urban district.
Karnataka is under lockdown from April 27 to May 12 to control the burgeoning number of cases, even as healthcare services have found themselves stretched. While few offices and industries have been exempted from the lockdown restrictions, essential stores are only open from 6 am to 10 am and movement is restricted for emergencies.