Lockdown-like restrictions in Karnataka kick in; Policemen wielding lathis on violators in Bengaluru
Bengaluru, May 10: Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa has appealed to the people to abide by the strict lockdown- like restrictions in Karnataka from Monday for the next fortnight to contain the spread of coronavirus, which is spreading in the state at an alarming proportion.
"As we begin the 14-day strict restriction to break the chain of infection, I request all citizens to follow the guidelines in letter and spirit. Your cooperation is crucial to contain the spread of the virus. Together we can defeat the pandemic," the Chief Minister tweeted.
Policemen wielding lathis were seen at places in an effort to implement the stringent restrictions.
The roads were barricaded and motorists were warned and allegedly got the stick for venturing out without valid reasons.
Those who went out to purchase medicines and essential goods were also allegedly roughed up.
At Uttarahalli circle in Bengaluru, people who had gone to collect water from the government established water purifier unit were also allegedly beaten.
"The policemen saw me with a can of water, yet they beat me up. They were saying why I used the two-wheeler but what should I do if there is no water dispensing unit near my house, which is two kilometres away," a youth with tears in his eyes told P T I.
Former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy came down heavily on the government for the police excesses saying that the government thought stopping people''s movement was the only way to prevent the spread of the virus.
In a series of tweets, the JD(S) second-in-command expressed his anger over the way lockdown has been implemented.
"Strict lockdown and not just lockdown, where people will be beaten up like cattle has been implemented from today. It is a tragedy that the government thought lockdown means stopping vehicular movement. It forgot the woes of citizens in distress," the JD(S) leader tweeted.
He said these were not the restrictions the opposition had suggested.
The government on Friday announced the restrictions on the advice of the ministers, opposition leaders, members of the government-formed Technical Advisory Committee on COVID-19 and other medical experts in view of the rising COVID cases.
Karnataka has been reporting about 50,000 cases daily while the active cases are close to six lakh.
The fatalities in the state is close to 19,000.
Bengaluru is reporting half of the infections, fatalities and active cases in Karnataka.