Opposition Janata Dal-Secular lawmaker KT Srikante Gowda and his son were booked on the charge of assaulting healthcare workers in Karnataka's Mandya during coronavirus testing of districts journalists on Saturday, April 25.
"A first information report was filed against JD-S Member of Legislative Council (MLC) Gowda and his son Krishik for abusing and attacking doctors and ASHA workers, conducting COVID tests on district scribes," Mandya Superintendent of Police K. Parushuram said. Mandya is about 100km southwest of Bengaluru en route to Mysuru in the southern state.
Why did Gowda object to the Covid-19 tests?
Gowda objected to the tests conducted at Ambedkar Bhavan, which is near his residence, as he feared the area would be infected should any journalist test positive.
"The district administration did not take preventive measures before doing the tests in our area. As per the standard operating procedure or protocols, the state health department should first sanitise or disinfect the area to prevent the virus spread," Gowda told reporters in Kannada at Mandya.
Son of @JanataDal_S MLC Srikante Gowda attacks journalists who were giving sample for swab test as per Govt guidelines. @hd_kumaraswamy avare any action on your MLC ? Or is your love only for Ramnagar ? pic.twitter.com/09sEfYO3va
— Balaji Srinivas (@BalajiiSrinivas) April 25, 2020
On a complaint by the corona warriors and scribes for allegedly disrupting the testing, Krishik was detained and whisked away to the area police station to defuse the situation.
"We are investigating and will invoke the new law that stipulates arrest, Rs 50,000 fine and 3-year jail under the Karnataka Epidemics Ordinance, 2020, enacted on April 23, if the accused are found guilty," asserted Parushuram.
Gowda's enraged supporters also demanded that the health officials take away the mobile testing kiosk, parked near the Bhavan, to avoid the area getting contaminated.
'I opposed the testing in our area after residents complained'
"I opposed the testing in our area after residents complained to me and wanted the mobile kiosk to be shifted to a government hospital," asserted Gowda.
On the directive of Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, the Information Department has advised all media persons across the southern state to take Covid-19 test to ensure they are free from the virus, as they are in the field covering the corona outbreak.
Mandya Deputy Commissioner MV Venkatesh said further action would be initiated against the accused on getting the police report and in case epidemic law was violated.