Karnataka health minister B Sriramulu participated in a grand procession in Chitradurga, which was attended by hundreds of supporters. The shocking affair not only violated social distancing norms, but did so at a time when coronavirus cases in the state are on a record high.
In a video that has since gone viral, Sriramulu received a grand welcome with a massive apple garland. Hundreds of supporters can be seen cheering their leader as he rode on a decorated truck's cargo bed. The video also shows the BJP leader without any PPEs, such as face mask or gloves as he participated in the procession.
The video also shows police officers in the crowd. No action was taken to prevent mass gathering. This is a direct violation of the state government order, which prohibits any form of mass gathering. CM BS Yediyurappa had even clarified that in case of any events like marriages, people's gathering must be restricted to 100 attendees, which needs to be approved by the authorities in advance.
Watch the video below:
Hundreds of supporters of Karnataka health minister @sriramulubjp violate social distancing norms & lockdown restrictions prohibiting political/social gathering in times of #COVID19 to offer a grand 'welcome' d leader. Chitradurga has recorded 39 cases of #COVID19 so far. pic.twitter.com/yZ681Hu84P— Anusha Ravi Sood (@anusharavi10) June 2, 2020
The state of Coronavirus in Karnataka
In case of the grand procession carried out to welcome Sriramulu in Chitradurga, there were several hundred supporters in close proximity with no regard to social distancing.
What's shocking is that this happened in the presence of the very minister, who is responsible for the health and family welfare of the people of the state. Karnataka's COVID-19 cases have been rising at an alarming rate, with hundreds of new cases being reported every day. The current toll stands at 3,408 cases in the state.
Not an isolated incident
Shockingly, Sriramulu's procession isn't an isolated incident where social distancing norms were flouted in these tense situations. On the occasion of Ganga Dussehra on Monday, crowds of hundreds thronged more than a dozen Ghats in Buxar to take a dip in the Ganga. People did not wear masks or practice caution amid the pandemic.
In another incident, Congress leader's COVID-19 recovery was celebrated by violating social distancing norms in Mumbai last week. Senior leader Chandrakant Handore returned home after recovering from coronavirus last week - only to see a crowd of supporters beating drums and lighting firecrackers.