Hundreds of people attended a temple festival in Kalaburagi district of Karnataka on Thursday, despite the nationwide lockdown to combat Covid-19 and social distancing rules in place, The New Indian Express reported. Chittapur tahsildar Umakant Halle confirmed that the Siddalingeshwara Jatra, a chariot- pulling festival, was held in Ravoor village, and claimed that the trust that runs the temple had misguided the administration.

“Five people [organisers] have been arrested while a police sub inspector and a official from the district administration suspended,” Kalaburagi Superintendent of Police Iada Martin Marbaniang told PTI.

The temple authorities usually arrange the Pallakki Seva ritual a day before the festival. The Pallakki Seva took place on Wednesday evening in a symbolic manner, attended only by a few priests and Siddalingeshwara Trust members.


The chariot-pulling festival was to be held on Thursday evening, and the temple authorities had agreed to cancel it. However, Halle said, without informing the authorities, the festival was held at 5 am on Thursday in the presence of hundreds of devotees.

Kalaburagi Superintendent of Police Lada Martin said between 100 and 150 people arrived at the temple at 6.30 am on Thursday, News18 reported. They took part in the chariot-pulling procession for about 20 minutes. “A case has been registered against those people [20 identified and others being identified] for violation of the lockdown rules,” Martin said. “A sub-inspector has been suspended.”

The district police department said on Thursday evening that they have registered a case against the temple administration, too, in connection with the event, The News Minute reported.

Karnataka has so far reported 353 coronavirus cases, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Kalaburagi has recorded around 20 cases.

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