Mekedatu march: FIR against 30, including Congress’ DK Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah, for violating COVID curbs

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Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai slammed Shivakumar for refusing to take the COVID test, saying he is not bothered about the health of others

Day 1 of Mekedatu Padyatra . Photo Twitter

The Ramanagara district administration has filed an FIR against 30 people, including Congress leaders DK Shivakumar and ex chief minister Siddaramaiah, for violating COVID-19 norms while holding the Mekedatu padayatra.

Araga Jnanendra, the state home minister told ANI that an FIR has been registered against 30 people for violating COVID-19 protocols. “Ramanagara district administration has taken action as per the law. We will not spare anybody who violates the law,” he said.

Led by Congress leader Shivakumar and Leader of Opposition in Karnataka Assembly Siddaramaiah, the 11-day foot march, with the theme ‘Namma Neeru Namma Hakku’ (Our water, Our right) began at Sangama, the confluence of Cauvery and Arkavathi rivers, yesterday and will cover a distance of 139 kilometres.

The Congress’ march from Mekedatu to Bengaluru, is scheduled to pass through Kanakapura, Ramanagara and Bidadi, before culminating at Basavanagudi in Bengaluru on 19 January. It will cover about 15 Assembly constituencies of Karnataka.

 

The march is demanding the implementation of Mekedatu project, a water prjoect that will reportedly ensure drinking water to Bengaluru and neighbouring areas and will also generate 400 MW power.

In the past few days, the state has witnessed a surge in COVID-19 cases, for which the BJP-led state government has announced a host of restrictions, including a ban on public gatherings and rallies.

With participation from hundreds of workers, leaders and cultural groups, the foot march can become a super spreader event, the government has warned.

The Karnataka BJP slammed the Congress  for this  padayatra and shared a purported video of state Congress chief DK Shivakumar coughing, branding the Congress a “superspreader.”

“Watch Congress president DK Shivakumar cough in public during his phoney protest against the Mekedatu dam. He appears to be suffering from Covid-19 symptoms, but he is still interacting with Congress employees without a mask. Is he hell-bent on increasing the number of Corona cases? “Karnataka BJP’s official Twitter account tweeted.

As a part of random testing of COVID-19, after the day’s march had ended, when a doctor asked Shivakumar for his sample, he refused, saying that he is a public representative and that he would alert doctors if he had any symptoms.

“Rey mister, I am fit and fine. You can’t compel me. I know the law of this land. Tell your ministers I am fine. I won’t give my sample for testing. And there’s no requirement for that,” Shivakumar said.

Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai slammed Shivakumar for refusing to take the test, saying, “This shows his culture; he is not bothered about the health of other people also.”

Siddaramaiah, too, who took part in the march, fell sick with fever, and is likely to go back once he is fine, reported PTI.

With imputs from agencies





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