Mekedatu Padayatra 2.0: Case against 37 for violating Covid guidelines
Bengaluru: The BJP government in Karnataka has slapped cases on 37 people for violating Covid guidelines during Mekedatu padayatra on Monday.
Congress State President D.K. Shivakumar, Opposition leader Siddaramaiah, MP D.K. Suresh and MLC Ravi and others were named as accused.
Ramnagar Tehsildar has lodged a complaint in this regard in Aijur police station. Though most of the Covid restrictions are lifted, the state government has not provided relaxations on processions, rallies and protests.
Reacting to the FIR, Shivakumar stated that Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai knew about the padayatra and officials also had prior information. “FIR has been lodged with political hatred. We have been booked for taking up pro-people agitation. Let them lodge cases, we will go to jail by walking only,” he said.
“Why is there no case against ruling BJP minister, MP Raghavendra for taking part in the procession of dead body (slain Bajrang Dal activist Harsha) and why there is no case against Chief Minister for taking part in public functions?” Shivakumar asked.
“We don’t fear FIRs and cases,” he added.
The Congress Padayatra reached Bengaluru city on Monday night.
Police Commissioner Bengaluru stated that, padayatra has reached the outskirts of the city. Jurisdictional DCP’s have been asked to arrange proper security to avoid any untoward incidents. 40 KSRP and 30 platoons will be deputed in the city to maintain law and order situation in the city. He had also requested the vehicle riders for traffic guidelines on the police department website.
The Karnataka Congress had kickstarted Mekedatu padayatra (protest march) on Sunday by beating drums and reciting Vande Mataram song in Ramnagar district of the state. The padayatra is being organised demanding commencement of Mekedatu reservoir work to provide drinking water to Bengaluru and surrounding areas.
Mekedatu padayatra has been taken out under ‘Walk for Water’ slogan and will cover 79.8 km from Ramnagar to Bengaluru.
The protest march would culminate in the Basavanagudi National College Grounds on March 3.
The party had earlier launched a 10-day Mekedatu padayatra on January 9 at the peak of third Covid wave.
After the intervention of the High Court, the padayatra was stopped after four days. The police department has also lodged a slew of cases against Congress leaders then.