Video Editor: Puneet Bhatia
A sea of devotees were seen at the Kada Siddheshwar Fair, at Thekkalakote village of Ballari in Karnataka, on Tueday, 13 April 2021.
The incident took place during the annual chariot procession. The devotees, who were not wearing masks, violated COVID-19 protocols and stomped on barricades placed by the Bellary district police.
Devotees were allegedly insisting on pulling the chariot despite the ban on religious gatherings. According to reports, there were more than 3,000 people present.
The police had to resort to lathicharge to ensure COVID rules are maintained. Barricades were thrown away, leading to skirmish between the cops and the people.
The police have registered an FIR against 11 people. The accused have been charged under IPC Section 188, Disaster Management Act, and the Pandemic Act. Yogeshwaraiah, Nagappa, Rudrappa, Chidananda and Krishna are among the 11 booked.
Karnataka recorded its highest ever single day spike in cases on 13 April — a total of 11,625 infections.
A few devotees were also reportedly injured in the incident. The situation was later brought under control.
Meanwhile, the Kumbh Mela continues to go on in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar, the city has been recording a surge in COVID-19 cases, with over 1,000 in the last two days. On Tuesday, 13 April, Haridwar registered 594 positive patients, while on Monday, 12 April, 408 new positive cases were registered.
The ongoing Kumbh Mela has drawn flak for worshippers flouting COVID norms, as seen from emerging visuals.