Covid-19 restrictions don’t stop Ugadi shopping in Karnataka districts
Ugadi, or the beginning of the new year, is an important festival according to the Hindu calendar in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra.Updated: Mar 24, 2020 15:40 IST
Hundreds of people came out of their houses in several cities and towns across Karnataka on Tuesday to shop for Wednesday’s Ugadi festival despite the government’s lockdown orders to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Karnataka has reported there are 33 Covid-19 patients across the state and four people have recovered from the respiratory illness. One person has died, so far.
People in several districts including Bengaluru, Chikballapur, Mysore, Mandya and several other towns were seen shopping for the festival rather than staying at home.
Ugadi, or the beginning of the new year, is an important festival according to the Hindu calendar in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra. It is usually celebrated by tying mango leaves to house entrances, arches and eating a mixture of jaggery and neem leaves, said to symbolise both the sweet and the bitter experiences of life, after offering prayers.
Police also carried out a mild lathi-charge in several local flower and vegetable markets in Mandya, Mysuru and Chikkaballapur as a large number of people had gathered for shopping for the festivities.
Bengaluru Police commissioner Bhaskar Rao also said police would take the strictest action against those found deliberately violating the government’s orders to stay indoors.
“Am getting calls since 4 am that their service is essential…more essential than Corona..” he tweeted with an emoji of a smiley indicating the demands by several people to allow them to go ahead as usual in spite of government orders.
“Requesting citizens to ensure ‘stay indoor call’ is implemented. No threat of law but don your role of enlightened citizen. Nothing is more important than our life. Please do this for yourself,” he said in another tweet.
Several people from cities also travelled to their native villages to celebrate the festival.
Chief minister BS Yediyurappa has repeatedly appealed to citizens to avoid all non-essential and non-emergency travel to ensure that villages, which are largely unaffected by the coronavirus, remain so.
Yediyurappa also appealed to people to celebrate Ugadi at home by offering prayers and not going out. “If some defy the government order banning movement, the police will take action without any compunction according to law,” he said.
Meanwhile, the free food at Indira canteens across Bengaluru has been stopped as hundreds thronged it defeating the purpose of maintaining social distance.