A retired policeman in Kerala was arrested on Wednesday for violating the statewide lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic, and organising his daughter’s wedding at his house in Kollam district. This is at a time when the state government has issued an order stating not more than five persons should assemble anywhere in Kerala.
Rajendran Achari, a resident of Vettikavala in Kollam who retired as an Assistant Sub Inspector of Police, was arrested by the Kottarakara police after it was discovered that 30 people participated in the wedding.
The whole state machinery, including the police department and the district administrations, are unitedly fighting to prevent the possible community spread of coronavirus. Kerala went into a statewide lockdown on March 24 (Tuesday), hours before the Centre declared nationwide shutdown.
Police officers in Kerala are relentlessly working across the state to prevent people from moving out of homes unnecessarily. It is at this time that this wedding was organised.
The video of the wedding, accessed by Mathrubhumi News, shows as many as 20 people, including a child, standing close together around the wedding mandap arranged in front of the house.
Talking to TNM, Kollam Rural Police Chief Hari Sankar said that the wedding was held despite giving directions to the family to cancel it. Kerala currently has 112 active COVID-19 cases.
“On Tuesday itself, the police told the family that the wedding should be cancelled. But they went ahead with 30 people. The man's car has also been confiscated. After questioning him, the vehicles of all the other people who attended the wedding will also be seized,” said Hari Sankar.
The accused has been booked under section 118 (e) (knowingly does any act which causes danger to public or failure in public safety) of Kerala Police Act and section 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant).
On Wednesday, 1,751 people from across the state were booked by police for unnecessarily coming out to the streets with vehicles violating the lockdown orders. The most number of cases, against 338 people, were registered on Wednesday under the Kozhikode city police limit, followed by 214 in Idukki district. With this, a total of 3,612 cases have been registered in the state since the lockdown started on March 25 (Tuesday).