Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s public call to hold a blackout for nine minutes at 9 p.m. on Sunday and light earthen lamps, candles, or cell phone torches to show solidarity was followed by unexpected moves from two of his party's politicians.
In a video clip that has gone viral, Manju Tiwari, BJP district president in Uttar Pradesh state, is seen holding a revolver and firing shots in the air. The revolver reportedly belonged to her husband and the video was also recorded by him.
As per the law, celebratory firing is illegal and prohibited in Uttar Pradesh.
Video of BJP Mahila Ziladhyaksh Manju Tiwari from Balrampur firing in the air fs part of #9बजे9मिनट . Video uploaded from her own ID which went viral. #bjp #IndiaFightsCoronavirus @balrampurpolice pic.twitter.com/1PBPHMMA9G— Amil Bhatnagar (@AmilwithanL) April 6, 2020
Uttar Pradesh Police booked Tiwari for celebratory firing. Meanwhile, in her defence, she said that she saw that the entire city was lit up with lamps and candles. She felt that it was an occasion to celebrate like Diwali, the festival of lights, and thus she opened fired. "But I accept my mistake and apologise for it".
In the second incident, Raja Singh, the BJP's only lawmaker in Telangana state, held a protest against the coronavirus with participants along with him, raising slogans of "Chinese virus go back" and having torches lit in their hands.
In the video, one can see Raja along with his supporters taking to the streets holding fire torches and raising slogans.
This is BJP MLA in Telangana, Tiger Raja Singh, last night.— An Open Letter 😷 (@AnOpenLetter001) April 6, 2020
Dear @narendramodi, if you don't take action against your own leaders doing stupid sh*t then it will set a bad example.
DOING THIS AMIDST PANDEMIC IS NOT ONLY STUPID, ITS CRIMINAL. pic.twitter.com/0UlslQlh1E
The country is under a 21- day national lockdown to combat the virus, with the government requesting everyone to stay indoors and avoid social gatherings.
According to the Indian health ministry, positive cases of the COVID-19 has crossed 4,000 while over 100 people have lost their lives to the infection.